Is it legal for a manager to contact a former worker’s sibling about details of the other’s departure?

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Is it legal for a manager to contact a former worker’s sibling about details of the other’s departure?

I worked for a national retail chain as a store manager. My sister is a store manager at another location within the same district. When I severed my employment, the District Manager contacted my sister over details about my departure. I was wondering about the legality of this.

Asked on November 9, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There really are no rights to privacy in this situation.  Employers have a wide latitude in such matters. The fact is that most states recognize something known as "at will" employment.  What this means is that you can work for your employer or not, your choice. In turn, your employer can hire or fire you for any reason or no reason at all.  It can also increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements as it sees fit. 

Unless there is a union or employment contract that prohibited your employer from taking such action, or this conduct was against company policy, or it was been brought about by form of workplace discrimination, your former employer did not violate any law.


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