Attention any and all employment lawyers...please read

by  |  earlier

0 LIKES UnLike yesterday I went to my classroom (I am a teacher) to clean out my books, personal items, educational materials etc. I was leaving on good terms. I was just going to take another position in another school doing something else. When I got to school my principal went through all of my desk drawers taking personal records that were just anecdotal in nature. There wasnt anything damaging to my knowledge but I dont remember every scrap that was in there. I had a few important records of parent phone calls, my principal and I's conversations and things. She admitted to shredding what she wanted. CAN SHE DO THAT? Isnt there any privacy laws that would protect my personal things. I feel very very betrayed. Like I said, she and I had a good relationship and I am shocked she would do this. She said she was getting it ready for the new teacher but she never went in anything else like my bookshelves or file cabinets. It would appear she was looking for information. Oh and she denied a request I had because I got pregnant and I had records on that. So it was like she took things that could be damaging to her. Any answers would be awesome!




  1. you are not guaranteed any privacy in the workplace, it is the employers domain and they call the shots

  2. Report this principal to the school division.  As well you must have a Teacher's Union.  Report him/her to them as well.  Call your union for advice.

  3. Now you've learned three of the big rules in business -

    1) take ALL your personal stuff home before you give your notice

    2) never ever leave notes about your employment, problems with the boss or coworkers, disciplinary actions, etc., at work - take them home and keep them in a safe place

    3) Never ever use an employer's computers to make notes, store notes, or email notes to yourself.  Everything you do can be retrieved, and anything you do on an employer's computer technically belongs to the employer.

    By the way, you don't mention where you are.  If you're in the UK or Canada or Australia, the answers you need may be very different than if you're in the US.  So if you would edit your question to add that detail, it would help.

    As for whether or not the principal can go through your personal notes that were in your desk, that's definitely something to be answered by an attorney who practices in your state.  It isn't uncommon to have an employee pack their things under the supervision of a security guard or someone in management with the employer, but extensive searches of personal notes aren't common unless the employee worked with highly sensitive or proprietary data/systems/information.  

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