One of the consequences faced by companies that neglect workplace privacy issues is the possibility of a defamation lawsuit. Human resources departments should be careful to limit information about employees and former employees, including the reasons for a termination or leave of absence, to those with a need to know. References and requests for references should be treated carefully lest

Confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses are customary in settlement agreements and severance contracts in the employment law context. These days, however, the temptation can be irresistible for disgruntled former employees to trash their former employer on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, on blogs, by text or e-mail or other electronic means.