Dismissal justified for disclosing confidential information
Mr Farnan was the club’s international and national marketing director. He was suspended following concerns regarding breaches of confidence and various other matters which included sending a lewd email and making derogatory comments. The club trawled through his work emails and found that he had committed serious and repeated breaches of contract by storing confidential information about sponsorship bids which he sent to his wife’s private email address. His story was that he was doing this for administrative support but in fact it appears he was sorting evidence in case he ended in litigation with the club.
He had also used confidential bid documents for his own purposes to seek employment; briefed a journalist against clear club policy and wrongly disclosed a sponsorship agreement to a third party. The employer summarily dismissed him for gross misconduct, which was upheld. However the club was criticised for beefing up part of its claim against the Claimant by alleging that there were derogatory comments made about the CEO in emails and the sending by the Claimant of an email Christmas card of 10 bare breasted women which was not considered to be gross misconduct in the context of other incidences which the club tolerated.
Interestingly proceedings were also issued in the Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal but these were stayed pending the outcome of the breach of contract case.
This legal update is provided for general information purposes only and should not be applied to specific circumstances without prior consultation with us.
For further details on any of the issues covered in this update please contact Gemma Ospedale, Partner in Employment on 020 7583 2222.