I settled over a dispute I had with a former employer. I signed an extensive confidentiality agreement not to disclose the details regarding the settlement. I was employed up until the day I received notice from my attorney that we were settling. Management is now leaking information out to employees regarding me pursuing legal action. This of course is hindering my ability to obtain further employment because the industry I work in is very small. Do I have any options here?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Did the confidentiality clause also apply to your employer? If so, do you have proof that your former employer breached the confidentiality clause? Other than possible breach of contract, if your employer was bound by the confidentiality clause, you may be able to sue for defamation but only if you can prove that a person communicated something knowingly false (not opinion) about you which caused you damages (loss of job opportunity.) Remember, that when you sue, you have to prove your claim with witnesses, documents, etc. Defamation can be hard to prove if you aren't sure who said what to whom and even if you know that info. you have to prove that it was not that person's opinion, but a knowingly false statement.
If the company was also bound to the confidentiality terms, then you could take action, but will have to prove through credible admissible evidence that they breached the agreement and what your damages are. Going to be tough on both counts, requiring testimony from witnesses at prospective employers as to what was said, and that you lost out because of it. If serious about hiring counsel to pursue this, or at least consult and review the evidence, feel free to contact me.