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  • Confidential Information Maryland

    I currently work for a large retail company. About 10 days ago a coworker who had worked with me for about 2 years was fired for unethical behavoir. He called me the next day urging me relentlessly to quit and never go in again because they had told him, "You and your little buddy down there will share a cell". LP also apparently mentioned a few other terminations while in the process of firing this employee. While this bothered me I still went into work because I do not think I have done anything wrong. I did know about my coworkers actions and did not report it or anything so if that makes me guilty then I will have to go down that road I suppose. Because of this thought I have been extremely paranoid working there the last week. Then, a couple days ago another employee pulled me aside and told me the LP supervisor had told her it would be best that I resign. So for some reason everyone here knows whats going on except me. I brought this to the attention of the store manager who apalogized and such saying it was terribly unethical but my question is, is this unlawful?

    My understanding is that personal information, for instance anything I put on my job application, is private between me and the employer and should not be shared. If I am going to be fired for this, which the store manager says I am not guilty but who knows, then as far as I can see its my own business and nobody else has a right to know. Not only that but I believe that by actually threatening me through a 3rd party is harrasment. Also, by making it known like they did that I was in trouble and not actually telling me anything, that seems like harrasment to me as well.

    Also, I have heard that if you quit before you get fired its better for your record etc. Is there any merrit to this? Is my company acting unlawfully by sharing my information? Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    While it is certainly preferable for an employer to keep information about employees confidential, pretty much the only information that BY LAW must be kept confidential is any medical information that they may have on you.

    On the basis of what you have posted, there is no illegal harassment occurring. It is possible that additional details might change that assessment. It's really not clear in your post what information is being shared about you.

    There is no one right answer to the question of quitting vs. firing. But at this point there is nothing but rumor to assume that your firing is imminent, or going to happen at all; office rumor cannot always be trusted.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      Nothing you have posted is illegal. The information on the application is not confidential, nor is any planned disciplinary actions against you. It is not advisable to share this with just anyone, but it isn't illegal.

      If you knew about this unethical behavior and did not report it, yes, you can be held responsible for that.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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