If my past employer continues to advertise my name on a website against my express wishes, what canI do?

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If my past employer continues to advertise my name on a website against my express wishes, what canI do?

I brought this to their attention and they state it’s an old site so they have no responsibilty for it. How do I make sure that my name is not tied to their company? I’m in sales and am losing business as my customers are calling my old company directed by this website.

Asked on October 5, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You could sue your former employer for invasion of privacy.  One type of invasion of privacy is appropriation of one's name or likeness for commercial purposes.  Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) would be your lost income from your former employer's use of your name for commercial purposes.

You may also have additional causes of action (claims) in your lawsuit for interference with prospective advantage, interference with contract, and possibly a cause of action for inducing breach of contract.  Interference with prospective advantage would be interfering with your ability to compete for business due to your name being advertised on the website and the resultant loss of business.  Inteference with contract is your former employer interfering with existing contracts between you and your customers by advertising your name on the website.  You would have to prove that there was an existing contract or a potential contract between you and a customer in order to claim interference with  contract.  As for a cause of action for inducing breach of contract, again you would have to prove the existence of a contract and that the contract with a particular customer was breached by your former employer advertising your name on the website.

As stated above, your damages would be lost income due to losing business due to your name being advertised on the website without your consent. 


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