Risks In Fighting Whistleblowers Over Confidentiality

Law360, New York (March 31, 2014, 6:43 PM EDT) -- As the Obama administration and various courts grow friendlier to employees who report their employers' wrongdoing, employers are exploring new ways to fight back.

One tactic: Accusing whistleblowers of illegally revealing confidential information, either by using a common-law claim, such as breach of contract or fiduciary duty, or by claiming violation of federal statutes such as the Stored Communications Act or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act — or even, in some cases, by urging criminal charges.

Except where whistleblowers have been indiscriminate or reckless, however, such methods are unlikely to succeed. At worst, they may backfire on employers.

Courts have...

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