I was a manager at a credit union and an employee accessed my personal account. I don't know what was done with the information obtained, but the employee is still employed by the credit union. Is there any legal recourse?
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.
If it was truly a wrongful access, there might be criminal liability for the employee. But as for the employer, there's not currently any legal recourse because there is not yet a "ripe" case. For civil cases, there has to be ripeness in a case to bring a lawsuit against a "tortfeasor" (wrongful actor). For a company to have liability, there has to be either action done in the course and scope of employment of the employee, OR "ratification" of those actions. Keeping this individual on would be ratification, but another necessary element is damages. As crazy as it sounds, you have to have actual damages relating to the actions of another before you can go to court to sue. So if this person used your information and you were harmed in a quantifiable manner (you lost money, your credit was ruined, etc...) then you could go after both this individual and the company in civil court. But you would need to have those specific, provable damages first. At this point, if you don't know what was done with the information, you can't yet prove that, and therefore would not have any legal recourse (at least yet).
I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, and good luck to you!
Does the company have the responsibility to ensure that its' members accounts are only accessed if there is a business need?
Yes, but again, this is really only enforceable if there is damage. Most of the time, companies take a pretty hard line to show that there is no ratification of the employee's actions, and to avoid civil liability. But there's not "injunctive" rights (where you can get a court to tell them to do something or not to do something) in such a situation, but rather only remedial (compensating for damages already incurred).
Understood. Thank you for answering my question!
Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).