When you hire someone to work for you and share your business’s private information with this party, you run the risk of it hurting your bottom line if your proprietary information leaks out. If the worker who shared your business’s trade secrets or other private information signed a confidentiality agreement before doing so, you may have legal recourse available to you.
According to SmallBusiness.Chron.com, you may have recourse available to you even if your employee did not sign a confidentiality agreement if he or she shared private information without your consent. Potential forms of recourse may include the following.
Terminating the employee
Many confidentiality agreements contain a breach of confidentiality clauses. Many such clauses dictate that you may fire any employee who shares your business’s classified information with anyone outside of it. You may also be able to fire an employee for sharing private information even in the absence of a signed confidentiality agreement, depending on circumstances.
Filing a civil suit against the employee
You may also be able to pursue civil lawsuit damages against an employee who shares private business information without your consent. If you work in a hospital, doctor’s office or other health care setting, for example, any employee who leaks private patient information may find themselves the subject of a civil suit.
Filing criminal charges against the employee
In extreme situations, such as those that resulted in your company experiencing a substantial financial or emotional loss, you may be able to pursue criminal charges against an employee following a confidentiality breach. If the employee in question stole private information from you and then shared it, you may be able to report it to law enforcement officials. They, in turn, could file criminal charges against your employee.