What can I do regarding an invasion of my privacy at work?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What can I do regarding an invasion of my privacy at work?

I had called out of work while on lunch one day due to personal problems at home. I was brought into a meeting when I returned to work next, with my office administrator and office manager. They insisted on knowing what had happened in order to understand so to determine my punishment, so I told them that I would tell them, but it was not to leave the room. They both agreed, so I broke down and told them. Now, I have found out that the office manager told an employee, and that employee told another and so on. So now everyone in the office knows my personal life issues because of my office manager. And now, I’m completely distraught, anxious and paranoid and I can’t keep working here. I am putting in my two weeks notice today but I don’t know not I can make it that long. I know you can’t get unemployment if you quit, unless under certain circumstances but isn’t this a special circumstance? And can I press charges?

Asked on October 20, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

First of all, there is little by way of expectation of privacy in the workplace. Therefore, while unprofessional, unless this action violated the terms of an employment contract or union agreement it was legal. The fact is that a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit (absent some form of actionable discrimination). As for collecting unemployment compensation, if you voluntarily leave your job under these circumstances, you will in all liklihood be deemed ineligible to collect.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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