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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12617
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I work bank. I had a very bad experience with a customer.

Customer Question

I work for a bank. I had a very bad experience with a customer. I vented to my wife and let her know customers name. I did not disclose the specifics of the situation only the customers name.
The name sounded familiar to her so she did a Google search for customer. She did search on same device that has my LinkedIn account. When she did Google search she clicked on customers linked in profile. This caused a alert on customers linked in account.
Customer is now upset and registering complaint with our executive office and threats to take legal matters against the bank.
Can customer actually have legal case if someone views their profile on social media.
More importantly can my employer terminate me because I shared name of customer and my wife did Google search?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Good evening and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question. The California Financial Information Privacy Act makes it illegal for financial institutions to share "nonpublic personal information" with third parties without the customer's consent. The act defines "nonpublic persona information" as: "Nonpublic personal information" means personally identifiable financial information (1) provided by a consumer to a financial institution, (2) resulting from any transaction with the consumer or any service performed for the consumer, or (3) otherwise obtained by the financial institution. Nonpublic personal information does not include publicly available information that the financial institution has a reasonable basis to believe is lawfully made available to the general public from (1) federal, state, or local government records,(2) widely distributed media, or (3) disclosures to the general public that are required to be made by federal, state, or local law.Nonpublic personal information shall include any list, description,or other grouping of consumers, and publicly available information pertaining to them, that is derived using any nonpublic personal information other than publicly available information, but shall not include any list, description, or other grouping of consumers, and publicly available information pertaining to them, that is derived without using any nonpublic personal information." The Act goes on to state: " An entity that negligently discloses or shares non public personal information in violation of this division shall be liable,irrespective of the amount of damages suffered by the consumer as a result of that violation, for a civil penalty not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per violation. However, if the disclosure or sharing results in the release of nonpublic personal information of more than one individual, the total civil penalty awarded pursuant to this subdivision shall not exceed five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000)." Arguably, sharing the name of a banking customer with one's wife would constitute the sharing of non-public personal information with a third party, since where an individual banks is not generally public information. This seems like a bit of a stretch, though, especially since the sharing was not for a commercial purpose, and it seems based on your facts that neither your employer nor the customer are aware you shared the information with your wife anyway. The issue upsetting the customer is that you viewed their LinkedIn profile. That on its own would not typically violate any law at all and could not form the basis for a legal action. Now, it's important to understand that just because something is illegal doesn't mean your employer cannot discipline you or even terminate you for it. Employment in CA is "at will" absent an express agreement to the contrary. At will employment can be terminated for any reason not amounting to discrimination on the basis of a legally protected trait (race, religion, gender, etc.) or retaliation for engaging in certain forms of legally protected conduct (filing a wage claim, taking FMLA leave, etc.). It doesn't matter whether the basis for termination is fair, reasonable or even true. Thus, regardless of whether you have created any legal exposure for your employer if they feel you acted inappropriately in any manner, rightly or wrongly, they can take action up to and including termination against you. All you can do is attempt to reason with them and explain your actions. I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.* Disclaimer *Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Was I able to answer your question here? Please let me know.....
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Can you please let me know if you are getting my messages?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Patrick... Sorry for the delay I have been at work all day. Thank you for the info. I did have one more thing to run by you.
A few years ago I was actually involved in a very bad take over robbery with the same Bank. It was myself and another employee. We were assaulted at gun point prior to opening the branch. At the end of the robbery we were forced to kneel down. At that point I did think I was going to be executed. The theif did end up pepper spraying us and stole my car as a get away vehicle. The incident was so bad my employee never returned to work. I also went to therapy where I was diagnosed with PTSD.
I have lived with this every day and have learned how to deal with it. One of the mechanism I use to deal with stress compounded by my PTSD is having someone to talk with about my stressful situations..... That is my wife.
I would also like to add that I was also the victem of another robbery that took place with the same Bank 2 years ago. Working hard and keeping busy plus having my wife is what helps me deal with my PTSD.
Given the circumstances is this info relevant to the situation I am in?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
No problem. I don't even think it would be necessary to get into this because (1) your employer doesn't even seem to be aware that you shared this customer's name with your wife and that is not the basis of the customer's complaint against you; and (2) I don't believe that sharing such information with one's spouse would be a violation of the law cited above because it is not sharing for a commercial purpose. Hopefully this clarifies things. Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.Very best wishes.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Please don't forget to rate my service if I have answered your question. This is the only way that I receive credit for my time and so is much appreciated. Best, Patrick