The New Zealand Privacy Commissioner’s office investigated a complaint stemming from an employer notifying all employees as to the reasons for the departure of a fellow employee. While the company routinely notified employees of changes in staff, this departure was related to the employee’s drug use. Did it violate NZ’s privacy law by revealing personal information to other employees?
Now normally, you might think, “Heck, yes, the employer can’t reveal any of that to employees,” but what if all of the employees already knew about the employee having drug paraphernalia in their car, etc.? What if the employer is only acknowledging what everyone already knew or pretty much knew?
If you answered, “It’s still a privacy violation,” you’re right. Or at least you’re in agreement with the Privacy Commissioner’s view. See the Commissioner’s Case Note on the complaint.