Breach of privacy at work

A friend had some recent issues in their personal life and confided with their employer about the issue and requested it to be confidential.

A few weeks later, they discovered that the “boss” had disclosed the entire situation to someone we both know. outside of his work.

He is concerned about losing his job if he goes to HR or someone higher than his boss. What steps can we take on this.?



17 Responses

  1. He should not lose his job if he speaks to HR. Most companies have strict policies regarding retaliation of that sort.

    However, as he spoke to someone outside the workplace, and not another employee, HR may not be able to do anything.

  2. Adam Dee Adam Dee says:

    I had this exact same thing happen to me last year. Document what happens and send a letter to HR. It’s their job to investigate and nobody can fire you for lodging a complaint.

  3. Teri Sherry Teri Sherry says:

    Human rights might be a good start

    • Jodi Flatt Jodi Flatt says:

      Protection from gossip is not a protected right, come on…human rights deals with discrimination, not blabber mouths. Educate you.

    • Teri Sherry Teri Sherry says:

      Depending on what was shared, under the circumstances the info was shared and potential fallout from said information….human rights may come into play. And yes, I am well educated.

    • Alice Funk Alice Funk says:

      Human rights, HR, Union rep (if available). I know someone who received a settlement for this exact thing. Confidentiality is exactly that – confidential. It was a personal issue, boss knew, blabbed to others, it got back to the original person and complaint was issued. He never lost his job, received a settlement, and continued to work until he decided to leave. When an item of information is shared without consent it’s not gossip – it’s a breach.

  4. Mj Mank Mj Mank says:

    Your boss has breached confidentiality. The only time they are allowed to share is if you threaten to harm yourself or other people. Take it time HR. IF HR does nothing then you call 18006611095 press*then zero tell the operator the city and what your issue is then they will give you the names of three lawyers that you can speak to them Free for up to half hour. Good luck

  5. Quit your whining is also another option.

  6. Michael Orr Michael Orr says:

    Once you’ve told someone at work something you don’t want widely known you should have no expectation of privacy. I don’t think it’s right but it’s been my experience. This is part of learning who you can trust and who you can’t.

  7. Scott Gill Scott Gill says:

    Tact is everything. Tell “your friend” not go storming into HR demanding that the boss be fired.

    in this case the common person between your friend and said boss would have to be willing to go to HR with your friend and tell them that yes, the boss did tell him what your friend asked to keep confidential.

    If he’s going to HR without the third party, your friend is just essentially relaying gossip.

    I’d also wonder why someone would disclose information that is not related to their work. If it’s a medical issue that could affect job performance, that’s one thing, but if its something not work related or
    trivial, then why tell him?

  8. BJ Lucas BJ Lucas says:

    Unfortunately unless he signed a contract with specifics stating it’s confidential there’s not much u can do.


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