What to do if I overheard my HR manager on his business phone at the office telling a mutual friend that I would be getting fired?

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What to do if I overheard my HR manager on his business phone at the office telling a mutual friend that I would be getting fired?

And the reasons behind it. The friend does not work for our company. Therefore they should not be discussing me or my employment status at all. This friend has gone and put this information out in the public. Is this a violation of my privacy? At this point I have not been informed of a termination. This was yesterday. I am so upset I don’t know what to do. Is there anything I can do about this situation? I informed the job that the friend’s son was stealing and wrote a statement to this fact. Now they are saying I had something to do with it which is not or have ever been the case.

Asked on November 29, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First of all, the information that an employee is being fired is not confidential: an employer may legally tell anyone it likes, including before the employee is told. It's unprofessional to do this, but legal.

Second, if you do not have an employment contract, you are an employee at will, and may be fired at any time, for any reason--even an unfair or incorrect reason. So there is likely nothing you can do about the coming termination.

However, if false factual information is being told to others about you--i.e. the employer is saying that you stole, when you did not--that may be defamation, and you may have a legal claim for the damage to your reputation. If you believe this is or  may be the case, you should speak with a personal injury attorney.


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