If you are terminated for breach of confidentiality, can legal action be taken against the employer if there was no breach?

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If you are terminated for breach of confidentiality, can legal action be taken against the employer if there was no breach?

An HR employee was termed for breach of confidentiality, when in fact they never breached confidentiality or it was never proven. This breach was based on a conversation with their ex-boss. The recently terminated employee called their former boss to vent about a situation that happened at work. The new boss found out and terminated them.

Asked on January 17, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the employee did not have an employment contract, which contract limited the grounds or reasons for terminating the employee, or provided some process or procedure for discipline and termination which must be followed, the employee could be fired at any time, for any reason. Therefore, in the absence of an employment contract, this employee would not have any grounds for a lawsuit or any cause of action--the employer may fire him or her for calling a former boss to vent, and the employer does not need to prove or establish the alleged action.

If there is a contract, then its terms, in regard to termination and discipline, may be enforced.


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