Is it illegal for a former employer to give a customer your personal phone number?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it illegal for a former employer to give a customer your personal phone number?

My former employer fired me under shady circumstances. A bad review was left on yelp using my name about a mistake that was made on a bill. I was fired as a result and my employer claimed it was the customer who had left the review. Well, that customer went to my former boss and had asked for my personal phone number, as my boss had claimed I made threats to kill the customer which I hadnt and my former boss had given her my personal telephone number. After talking to the customer I found out that the customer had not left that review, and we both determined it wasn’t extremely likely the boss had actually left that review to justify firing me. I am now blacklisted from my industry as a result of that review, and while I suspect my boss left that review to destroy me, I cannot prove it. What I can prove, is that my former boss had given out my personal information to a customer. This boss has ruined my life, and i would really like to know if giving my private number to a customer is any grounds for me to take legal action.

Asked on May 6, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, this is not legal unless you have an employment contract, union agreement, job application, etc. that states otherwise. The fact is that most employee information is not ncessarily deemed confidential. As a general rule, a company can set the condtitions of the workplace much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). Accordingly, you have no claim here regarding your former employers having divulged your personal phnoe number. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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