Employee jailed after revealing company information
An employee has been jailed for six weeks after breaching a court injunction prohibiting him from revealing confidential company information.
The issue arose after the company lost a contract to a competitor.
It brought a claim against the employee alleging that he had breached his employment contract by transmitting confidential information to a rival firm.
The court granted an injunction preventing the employee from disclosing the employer's confidential information. It also imposed obligations on him to preserve electronic documents and not to disclose the existence of the order to anyone.
However, the employee went on to delete emails which could not be retrieved and then told the competitor about the court order.
The employer applied to the court to jail him for breach of the two prohibitions imposed on him by the injunction.
The employee asked for the court's mercy and gave evidence of the detrimental effect that imprisonment would have on his family and the care of his mother. He had offered to fully co-operate with the employer.
The judge said that imprisonment was always a last resort but a short sentence of six weeks had to be imposed to mark the court's strong disapproval of his conduct and to act as a deterrent to others who might be tempted to flout the court's orders.
Please contact Jackie Cuneen if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law and protecting your business.