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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19686
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I had a full time job at Banfield, and a part time job at PetSmart.

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I had a full time job at Banfield, and a part time job at PetSmart. Banfield is located inside PetSmart, but they are two separate companies. Well, I was just terminated from Banfield yesterday. They have disclosed to PetSmart that I was terminated, and the grounds for my termination. The manager at PetSmart then called me yesterday, and told me that she had to take me off the schedule for today, until we could talk tomorrow. She would not answer the question on whether I was going to be terminated. She said that she would have HR on the phone when we talk tomorrow. My question is, is it legal for Banfield to disclose such information, and can PetSmart terminate me for something that was not done while working for PetSmart or in PetSmart uniform?

Thank you for the information and your question and I am sorry to read about your situation. Normally the fact that you are no longer employed with a company would not be a privacy protected piece of information. Then the only issue is whether the "why" of the parting of ways could be shared. I can't say with certainty whether or not your former employer could, or perhaps had to, disclose your termination and the circumstances, to PetSmart, but I would suspect that they were bound to by contract. In other words, if there is a contractual relationship with the two companies, which I would presume there is since they are using the same space, then they may require that information since it could directly affect them. For example, if an employee is terminated for workplace violence or theft, then that would be the most obvious case that would support the information sharing. But again, it depends on their contractual agreements and also any documents that you may have signed. So, if you ultimately do lose your job with PetSmart over this issue, then you may want to sit down with a local attorney to see if you might arguably have an invasion of privacy cause of action against Banfield.

That said, Missouri is an employment "at will" state. That means that an employer may terminate an employee for any, or no, reason and with no warning or notice unless the termination would violate an employment contract, company policy, or employment discrimination law. So, unless one of the exceptions applies in your case Petsmart could let you go, even if the reason was arbitrary or based on this information about an unrelated issue relative to you work for them. Some states restrict an employer's ability to take action based on conduct outside of work, but Missouri is not one of those states.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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Hello again Heather,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the legal answer I provided to you on the 10th. The Site has been a little buggy lately so the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (which is how the Experts receive credit for our work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.

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