What can I do regarding an invasion of my privacy at work?

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What can I do regarding an invasion of my privacy at work?

I had called out of work while on lunch one day due to personal problems at home. I was brought into a meeting when I returned to work next, with my office administrator and office manager. They insisted on knowing what had happened in order to understand so to determine my punishment, so I told them that I would tell them, but it was not to leave the room. They both agreed, so I broke down and told them. Now, I have found out that the office manager told an employee, and that employee told another and so on. So now everyone in the office knows my personal life issues because of my office manager. And now, I’m completely distraught, anxious and paranoid and I can’t keep working here. I am putting in my two weeks notice today but I don’t know not I can make it that long. I know you can’t get unemployment if you quit, unless under certain circumstances but isn’t this a special circumstance? And can I press charges?

Asked on October 20, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, there is little by way of expectation of privacy in the workplace. Therefore, while unprofessional, unless this action violated the terms of an employment contract or union agreement it was legal. The fact is that a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit (absent some form of actionable discrimination). As for collecting unemployment compensation, if you voluntarily leave your job under these circumstances, you will in all liklihood be deemed ineligible to collect.


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