DoI have a case against my employer in regards to disclosing whyI was terminated?

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DoI have a case against my employer in regards to disclosing whyI was terminated?

I was recently terminated by my employer for breach of the code of conduct. I was involved in a investigation in which I was found negligent because I held a management position. During this investigation I signed a form stating that I would not discuss this investigation and that parties involved signed the same literature. In the last 2 has days I was questioned about my leaving from 1 current employee and ex-employee. This caused me much embarrassment and stress knowing that this investigation wasn’t private and has been discussed with others. What is my recourse?

Asked on September 16, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, an employer is *not* precluded from disclosing the results of an internal investigation. Employers, after all, set the terms and conditions of employment, including how investigations and discipline are done and what information about them is disclosed.

If the employer signed an agreement stating that the information or results would be kept confidential, that may be a different story--in that case, you may have a legal action based on breach of contract. However, even if you do, it may not be worth pursuing; as a general matter, the law does not provide compensation for embarrassment and stress, so if that is the "only" injury you have suffered (not to downplay it, but again to note that the law does not compensate for it), you may not be able to sue for enought to justify the cost of a lawsuit.


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