Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace

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The employees, caught in the middle, depending on references to find gainful employment but may jeopardize their eligibility if a reference portrays them in a negative light. The wider community (consumers, families, friends, and acquaintances of employers and employees) may be equally affected when full disclosure does, and does not, occur.
It is contended in this paper that it is vital that standardized national laws should be developed to protect past and future employers, the employees themselves, as well as the communities they work within. Firstly, the growing trend of litigation against former employers will be presented. Secondly, the laws across the states will be outlined in regards to a former employer’s disclosure of ex-employee information. Thirdly, reasons to standardize the laws will be provided. Finally, a conclusion shall synthesize the main points of the paper, and provide support for the adoption of standardized national employment and labor policy in regards to termination disclosure.
It is becoming more common for employees to ask their former employers for a written reason for their termination of employment, as well as a copy of their personal record (Boisvert, 1999). It has been suggested that for previous employers, such a request is a cause for concern, as it is often a clear indication of discontent on behalf of the employee, and likely that the employee has consulted with a lawyer and is considering a lawsuit. As such, it is recommended to employers to assume they may be as risk of being sued and to seek advice from their attorney immediately (Boisvert, 1999). When an employer terminates an employee they must be aware of the risk of being presented with a lawsuit and have risk management policies in place to minimize such an event from occurring. The process of providing a reference for the employee will play a large part in determining if the employee can make a legal claim (Boisvert, 1999). For this reason, there has been an increasing tendency for employers not to provide comprehensive details of former employees work practices.