Plaintiff Entitled To Employer’s Customers’ Addresses, District Of New Jersey Holds

In Stapleton v. DSW, Inc., 2013 WL 1137119 (D.N.J., March 20, 2013), a retail store employee observed a child whom she suspected was being neglected by her parent, a shopper in the store. The employee lodged a report with the state Division of Child Protection and Permanency, using confidential customer information to identify the shopper. The employee was discharged for violation of the store’s policy against disclosing confidential information, and filed suit for wrongful termination under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). In ruling on the employer’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the New Jersey District Court held that the employee’s refusal to abide by the employer’s confidentiality policy under the circumstances constituted a protected activity under CEPA, which protects employees who refuse to comply with a company rule incompatible with a clear mandate of public policy. 

Note: This article was published in the September 2013 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.

- See more at: http://www.ogletreedeakins.com/publications/2013-09-18/employee%E2%80%99s-disclosure-customer-information-face-suspected-child-neglect-held#sthash.GJE6kvED.dpuf

 

In Griff v. GalaxE Solutions, Inc., 2013 WL 2242656 (D.N.J. May 21, 2013), the New Jersey District Court rejected an employer’s attempt to withhold disclosure to the plaintiff of the business addresses of several of its customer contacts. The plaintiff had alleged wrongful termination, and the employer justified its actions on the basis of customer complaints about the plaintiff. In denying the employer’s request for a protective order, the court reasoned that (1) the employer had not articulated a persuasive reason to withhold the addresses based on confidentiality or privilege; (2) the employer placed the clients’ contact information at issue since it relied on the clients’ concerns as a reason to terminate the plaintiff’s employment; and (3) the employer’s failure to clearly and specifically articulate the harm in disclosing these business addresses. 

Note: This article was published in the September 2013 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.

Topics:  Customer Lists, Disclosure Requirements, Hiring & Firing, Protective Orders, Termination

Published In: Civil Procedure Updates, Labor & Employment Updates, Privacy Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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