The employee resigned from community based welfare service after she believed one of the clients was being permitted by personnel at the support service to engage in prostitution.

Following her resignation, the employee took copies of the client’s medical records and disclosed the information to several different parties. The support service sought return of the copies and this was granted by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA).

The employee challenged the ERA’s decision and sought $40,000 compensation. The ERA dismissed the challenge and ordered the former employee to pay a $2,000 fine for breaching her employment agreement by breaching confidentiality. It ordered the employee and any of the parties she disclosed the confidential information to, not to directly or indirectly disclose the information to anyone.

An appeal of this decision was dismissed by the Employment Court.

Alan Knowsley

Employment Lawyer Wellington