Can an employer disclose to a family member the reason for an employee’s termination?

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Can an employer disclose to a family member the reason for an employee’s termination?

I was let go from my job as a minister 2 months ago. My father also attended the church. One of the men who made the decision to fire me took my father to breakfast on the day I was fired, and told him that I was being fired. Since then, another one of the men who fired me went to lunch with my father and gave him intricate details about the decision to fire me…things that I was not even told. Is it illegal for these men to discuss my termination in detail with my father?

Asked on June 25, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

With regards to termination, an employee generally has no right to privacy. That is unless a disclosure of the sort that you describe would violate HIPPA (e.g. they informed your father about a medical condition that you have). Also, if the disclosure was of such a nature as to constitute legally actionable defamation. Otherwise, there is no legal mandate for an employer to keep the circumstances of an employee's discharge private.

Without knowing�the exact nature of what was�discussed with your father, it's hard to say. If you think that your employer's actions may have violated the law, you should speak directly to an attorney. After hearing all of the facts, they can best advise you further.


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