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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50178
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My employer has threatened to sue me confidential

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my employer has threatened to sue me for disclosing confidential information. However the information came to me via a third party (a recruitment business) and not anyone connected to my company or the transaction, which would suggest it was already in the public domain and there had already been a breach. Am I at risk?
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Have you explained this to your employer? Also, please can you tell me how long you have been employed there and whether you have a contract?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
6 months ago I was approached by a recruiter who told me my boss was selling the business and therefore would I be interested in a new job. I mentioned this to a client who is also a friend as I didn't know what it meant for me. Subsequently my boss confirmed this. I have been employed for 18m under a full contract and resigned a couple of months ago and am now currently on my notice. In doing a handover call with this client and my colleague the client asked what the sale of the business meant for our work (i mentioned to him I was leaving last week and he asked if it was because the business was being sold - I said uncertainty has been disruptive ).I explained this to my boss (and she knew months ago that I found out via a recruiter) and she said it was confidential because even though I had found out from a third party there were reasonable grounds to assume it was true and that when she later confirmed that it was, everything I knew about it, from whatever source became confidential information.
OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Many thanks for your patience. First of all an employer cannot just sue for disclosure of confidential information. The courts cannot just penalise you for what you did and to be able to make a claim the employer must show that they have suffered losses as a result of that disclosure. For example, if they were contemplating selling the company and you disclosed that, but as a result of this the sale fell through and they suffered financial losses. So if it is just a disclosure that was made but there were no losses resulting from this, there is very little that the employer can do. This is most likely to be just an empty threat of a disgruntled employer, rather than a viable claim which you should be concerned about. Even if they do try and claim that losses were suffered and can prove that, as you have already identified the information was not knowledge which was only known by the employer. People outside of the company already knew about it and as such there is a good argument that it was no longer confidential information but something that was already in the public domain.I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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