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My friend accidentally disclosed a verbal confidential info.

As soon as realised she...
My friend accidentally disclosed a verbal confidential info. As soon as realised she gave an apology. 8 months later she has been suspended with a view to dismissal. There was no benefit received or earned from the disclosure. Would it be fair to dismiss her?
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
11/16/2017
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Lawyer
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Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

Fair is a personal judgment, based on your own set of values. It's not fair to your friend to lose her job because she made a mistake, especially one where she immediately apologized for. In a perfect world, people would be given second chances. The delay is also a bit unfair, because she could have been looking for a job all this time if she'd known they were still thinking about taking action against her. She probably thought the whole thing was resolved 8 months ago.

To the company, it's fair to terminate her because she disclosed confidential information. It's good that she didn't receive a benefit, but it's possible that she could have harmed the company. And it's possible that she might harm them again if something similar happens. So, from their perspective, is it fair to terminate an employee who broke the rules and poses a risk? Absolutely.

With that said, fair or not, it unfortunately is legal. Employment laws aren't always based on fairness. Employment is at will unless there is a contract that says otherwise, but even if she had a contract, disclosing confidential information would usually be considered cause. So even though what they're doing isn't fair to your friend, I'm afraid she doesn't have any legal recourse against them. They're not breaking any laws.

I realize that you may be disappointed by this Answer, as it is not entirely favorable to your situation. However, it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I to provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information. I hope you understand. Please rate my answer positively so I get paid for the time spent answering your questions. If you're on a mobile device, you may have to scroll to the left. Thank you.

Good luck.

Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Lawyer
Verified
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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.

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