Rights as a job applicant

I am currently employed but had the opportunity to apply for another company. My very negative co-worker said that someone from the new company in their Human Resources dept told her that I applied for the other position. This has now put my current job in danger. Do I have any rights as a job applicant to protect that information? HELP!!!

I’m not sure about a “right” to privacy in that regard, but it is generally polite for a potential employer to ask the applicant before contacting their current employer. Many applications have a line that asks, “may we contact your current employer?”

You have the right to sue the company you applied to, or the person who leaked the information. It’s likely that if they have an HR department, they also have a privacy policy that was violated. Maybe it’s just me, but HR personnel seem to be the worst violators of the privacy policies they are supposed to be enforcing. And of course, your right to sue doesn’t amount to much. You don’t have a right to win the suit. But in the last recourse, try suing the leaker on Judge Judy. Even if you don’t win, Judy will tear her a new one in front of an audience of millions for acting in such an irresponsible manner. Also, get even with your new co-worker by <deleted for legal reasons>.

These threads go in In My Humble Opinion. See http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showpost.php?p=12806832&postcount=42 I’ll move it there for you. They go in IMHO because what you’ll get in response are opinions of posters here on the SDMB, which will necessarily be based on insufficient information. If you want actual legal advice about your situation, you should consult a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction. You can also ask your question at a site like http://www.lawguru.com/ or http://www.freeadvice.com/law-questions/ or probably dozens of others. Good luck.

General Questions Moderator

You have to think about a few things.

First of all the job applicaton. Did it have a section that said “May we contact this employer”?

If so did you mark it yes or leave it blank? If it didn’t have a section like that it’s almost a certainty that they had a clause above that line that allows them to contact anyone

Also how do you KNOW that the other company contacted them? Of course you have that negative co-worker who told you, but could she have overheard? Could she have accidently seen you walk into the other office? Did you call in sick to go to that interview and she put two and two together?

To win a lawsuit you’d have to prove that this happend. If the other company denies it how would you prove it?

There’s always a risk when you look for other work. What I found the best solution is, and I would recommend others do this.

Tell your boss you’ve been a bit short on money and you’re gonna look for a part time job to help pay the bills. Like on weekends or something.

This way if any other company calls your company will think it’s only for part time work that won’t effect your full time job.