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Your rules apply–even for employees preparing to sue

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Firing,Human Resources

Here’s another reason to have privacy and confidentiality rules: Em­­ployees who violate those rules in order to gather evidence for a lawsuit they have filed can be disciplined.

Recent case: Chyrianne Jones, who is black, worked as a medical equipment salesperson. When she became embroiled in a dispute with her supervisor about whether her customers found her effective, she decided to record customer comments without telling anyone else. She hoped that the recordings would show that her supervisor was lying.

Instead, she was fired for breaking a company rule against recording conversations without permission.

When she sued for discrimination, the court upheld the company’s assertion that it had fired Jones for breaking the no-recording rule. It said employees can’t break rules to secure evidence for litigation. (Jones v. St. Jude Medical, No. 2:08-CV-1047, SD OH, 2011)

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