Avoiding Liability for Communicating Information on Managerial and Professional Employees

Bradley J. Sleeper (St. Cloud State University)
Robert J. Walte (St. Cloud State University)
Robert J. Calhoun (St. Cloud State University)

American Journal of Business

ISSN: 1935-5181

Publication date: 22 April 2000

Abstract

Companies regularly need to communicate information about their employees’ performance to a variety of people who need to know; internally to co‐workers involved in audits or evaluations, and externally to customers and clients, the media, and prospective employers seeking references. Where the information is negative, companies fear the backlash of defamation lawsuits from employees. If the employees are themselves managers or professionals, the quantity and quality of information, the need for its disclosure, and the magnitude of the legal threat all rise. Highly publicized defamation cases have prompted a wave of no or limited comment policies. By reading brief case synopses illustrating the various communications settings, managers can gain a more accurate sense of the practical dynamics and law of employee disclosure. They can then better evaluate the view that the risk reduction offered by no‐comment policies does not justify the adverse effect on their own companies, their productive employees, and other stakeholders in accurate information. Managers can create policies and procedures that make both business and legal sense.

Keywords

Citation

Sleeper, B.J., Walte, R.J. and Calhoun, R.J. (2000), "Avoiding Liability for Communicating Information on Managerial and Professional Employees", American Journal of Business, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 31-38. https://doi.org/10.1108/19355181200000003

Publisher

:

MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below

You may be able to access this content by logging in via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.
If you think you should have access to this content, click the button to contact our support team.