The parties signed a confidential settlement of an employment relationship dispute.  The settlement included a non-disparagement clause as well.

One of the parties then posted disparaging Facebook posts and sent disparaging emails about the other party.

The Employment Relations Authority has upheld a claim for penalties to be imposed for the breaches.  The ERA held that the breaches were intentional and damaging to the reputation of the two parties and occurred on multiple occasions.  The maximum penalty available was $100,000 but only a $6,000 penalty was imposed.  Of that $4,000 was ordered to be paid to the injured parties and $2,000 to the Crown.

The offending party claimed that the Facebook posts only went to his family and friends but even that was a breach of the confidentiality of the settlement.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer