Can you get into legal trouble for sharing public criminal convictions about a co-worker to your manager at work?

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Can you get into legal trouble for sharing public criminal convictions about a co-worker to your manager at work?

A co-worker approached my desk at work and asked me for an update about a project. The information he was requesting had not been made available yet by our customer plant, so I told him that I didn’t have an update. He became angry and said,

Asked on November 22, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Public information (and criminal records are considered to be such information), can be disseminated to others. It is not illegal to do so. That having been said, disclosing a co-worker's criminal history may violate company policy. If thisis the case, then absent a union agreement or employment contract to the contrary, you can be disciplined for doing so up to and including termination.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, there is nothing illegal about sharing any publically available information or documentation with others: that it is publically available means by definition that it is not confidential or protected. Of course, you may have violated a company policy or simply done something the employer disapproves of, so the employer could discipline, even terminate you, but there are no other legal consequences you would suffer.


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