Is it illegal for an employer to show an employees personal financial information to customers in their establishment?

UPDATED: Jan 8, 2012

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Is it illegal for an employer to show an employees personal financial information to customers in their establishment?

A fellow employee was terminated after telling our boss that showing people our personal info was wrong and frankly, nobody’s business. This employee was berated, called names, and told to get out. After this employee left the building the employer marched around declaring he was “The King” and continued to show and discuss our personal financial info with customers.

Asked on January 8, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am not sure what sort of personal financial information and what type of establishment this is, but ultimately this could at the very least be considered an invasion of privacy. If you would expect a reasonable expectation of privacy in your personal financial information and this has nothing to do with your work with clients or customers, then this person is violating the law pure and simple and not only could it be a civil litigation matter but it could violate several labor laws, including workplace harassment and creating a hostile working condition. If you have proof of what this person is doing and may have the consumers on your side, I say contact the state labor department and also a private attorney. If this is a chain, contact corporate. You cannot be fired in retaliation and further many states have good whistleblower statutes that may apply.

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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