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Girl's Facebook Post Costs Her Dad $80,000 387

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-say-a-word dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "BBC reports that when Dana Snay learned her father had been awarded an $80,000 cash settlement in an age-discrimination lawsuit against his former employer, she couldn't resist bragging about it on Facebook. 'Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver,' the teen posted to her 1,200 Facebook friends. 'Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.' Trouble was her father had signed a confidentiality agreement so the school refused to pay a dime and a Florida appeals court has found in the school's favor. 'Snay violated the agreement by doing exactly what he had promised not to do,' wrote Judge Linda Ann Wells. 'His daughter then did precisely what the confidentiality agreement was designed to prevent.' Snay's father said in depositions that he and his wife knew they had to say something to their daughter because she suffered 'psychological scars' from issues during her enrollment at the school and was aware that they were in mediation with Gulliver attorneys. Attorneys say it's unlikely confiding in Dana Snay would have jeopardized the settlement — it was the facebook post that did them in. 'Remember when all you had to worry about was your daughter posting naked selfies of herself on Facebook?' writes Elie Mystal at Above the Law. 'Now, things are worse.'"
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Girl's Facebook Post Costs Her Dad $80,000

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  • by rebelwarlock (1319465) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @01:43PM (#46382179)
    As near as I can tell, there's nothing especially tech related in this story. She screwed up in a way that many before her have screwed up, it's just that she happened to use facebook to do it. Nothing to see here.
  • by namgge (777284) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @01:47PM (#46382213)
    There is only one way to keep something secret; don't tell anyone. And anyone includes your teenage daughter.
  • by schneidafunk (795759) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @01:55PM (#46382279)

    Confidentiality agreements are *gasp* legal contracts. Their daughter made a stupid mistake, as teenagers do, that doesn't change the fact that the agreement was broken.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02, 2014 @01:56PM (#46382285)

    This says it all:

    that he and his wife knew they had to say something to their daughter because she suffered 'psychological scars' from issues during her enrollment at the school ".

    Glad to see the employer got their bribe back from this greedy family. It sounds like the whole family needed to learn some life lessons.

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:00PM (#46382323) Journal

    This is why it's important to communicate with your kid. These things are not difficult to foresee. Kids (and a lot of adults) tend to believe against all reason that Facebook and it's ilk are their own private playground where nothing goes past their own circle of friends. But Facebook is just the tool here -- an attractive nuisance, if you will. It's so easy to acquire the momentary satisfaction of revealing information to your circle of friends. But it's really part of a larger problem, that of knowing when to keep your mouth shut in any medium. Adults presume at their peril that kids have this kind of insight.

    So if, in this case, the adult told the kid "this is what a confidentiality agreement means, and doing this or that will violate it" and the kid did it anyway, she now owes the family about a century of allowance. But if the adult did not adequately explain this, it's really the adult's fault, because this is a natural thing for kids to want to do.

  • by mysidia (191772) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:21PM (#46382477)

    Yeah. "We screwed up. We should've known better, but we decided to do it anyway. Here's our penalty money." "Oh, you screwed up. Your daughter didn't play by our rules. We take it all back...for teh win!"

    They screwed up by divulging legally privileged information to a child, who has not yet reached the maturity to appropriately respect the confidentiality requirement.

  • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:30PM (#46382545) Homepage

    "Confidentiality agreements are *gasp* legal contracts."

    And there's the problem. Confidentiality agreements should be illegal in the context of a legal case. If you don't want people to know you are a scumbag company, don't be a scumbag company. Paying people off to keep the secret seems phenomenally immoral.

  • by pijokela (462279) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:30PM (#46382551)

    Then they screwed up already by signing the agreement. I don't think it's realistic to have this kind of stuff happening in your family and then not telling you teenage kid the end result. I mean, after a year of mom and dad being nervous and stressed about the thing you will - not say a word to your kid? WTF kind of parenting is that? So they should not have taken an agreement that had that kind of a clause in the first place.

  • by Fishchip (1203964) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:35PM (#46382587)
    IANAL so maybe I'm missing something.

    Yes. The law part. Are you really saying 'Because they settled they must've been in the wrong so it's OK to break the agreement they settled on'? Do you realise how even more fucked up the world would be if everyone operated like that?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:40PM (#46382609)

    I'm sure of it. I, like most people, had never heard of Gulliver Preparatory School before this fiasco. Now their name is all over the news (as are their age discrimination issues), solely because they rescinded the settlement - the fact that the girl blabbed on Facebook was inconsequential since no one outside her circle of friends knew or cared about the issue. The school had every right to take the money back, and I don't fault them for that, but I don't think they thought their cunning plan all the way through first.

  • by thewolfkin (2790519) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:49PM (#46382673) Homepage
    she's a teenage girl. you should be able to sit her down and say "Honey, We just want to let you know that we've reached a resolution. We can't legally tell you and you can't tell anyone the details but you don't have to worry it's over". A teenage girl should have the maturity to understand and accept that.
  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:54PM (#46382719)

    And there's the problem. Confidentiality agreements should be illegal in the context of a legal case. If you don't want people to know you are a scumbag company, don't be a scumbag company. Paying people off to keep the secret seems phenomenally immoral.

    Why? What's the alternative? One alternative is that the father would have shut up and got nothing. The other alternative is that he would have gone to court, at possibly enormous cost, with no certainty about winning or losing, possibly ending up with a huge bill and no payment, or ending up with a huge bill and a possibly small payout, the company ending up with a huge bill and possible a payout, and the lawyers with lots of money in their pocket.

    Remember that we don't know if the company has actually done anything wrong, or if they have done anything that was provably wrong, or anything that was wrong enough to convince a jury that they should pay out money. "Scumbag company" is an unproven assumption that you are making, nothing more.

  • by Nyder (754090) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @03:52PM (#46383131) Journal

    Then they screwed up already by signing the agreement. I don't think it's realistic to have this kind of stuff happening in your family and then not telling you teenage kid the end result. I mean, after a year of mom and dad being nervous and stressed about the thing you will - not say a word to your kid? WTF kind of parenting is that? So they should not have taken an agreement that had that kind of a clause in the first place.

    Telling her wasn't the problem. Her telling everyone via Facebook is the problem.

  • by ScentCone (795499) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @04:10PM (#46383231)

    The human brain doesn't fully develop until 25. We don't even hold teenagers responsible for their actions until they're 17-18.

    Exactly. And so this (her actions) are her parent's responsibility. And so the fact that the information they agreed to keep private was out in public is the fault of the parents, and they are suffering exactly the consequences that they agreed to suffer for doing that exact thing.

  • Correct (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02, 2014 @04:13PM (#46383249)

    The school effectively paid $80k for confidentiality; a non-disclosure agreement, and a breach would still pay pay $1.

    There usually needs to be consideration (money) for a deal to be a deal. Unless you are getting steam-rolled.

    The settlement was two parts.

    The first was acknowledgment of any claims or allegations (not agreement or objection), and there could be no further claims by either the parents or child (even when she becomes an adult), or other family members, ever; pertaining to those (generally defined but bound by a date range) allegations.

    The second part was a conditional consideration (payment). This non-disclosure agreement would also have a time restriction of a reasonable time, probably a decade or less. This probably was setup as a payment schedule, though not required. The schedule continues the evaluation of the non-disclosure - and reminds them not to do what the child did.

    No matter what, both parts are executed upon signature, and the conditional payment would be evaluated for a period of time before payout.

    Once you give someone $80k and they spend it, not many people can come up with that amount of money, so there is always a waiting period.

  • by ATMAvatar (648864) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @04:14PM (#46383251) Journal
    To err is human, but to truly screw up requires a computer.
  • by ScentCone (795499) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @04:14PM (#46383255)

    It's here as a reminder that Facebook is a REALLY dumb idea and that people should realize it's not private.

    Facebook doesn't make stupid posts, people make stupid posts.

    Are kitchen knives a really dumb idea after you cut off your finger while making dinner?

  • by Bite The Pillow (3087109) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @06:02PM (#46383839)

    Parent: "Do not, under ANY circumstance, tell anyone about this. It is confidential. We have to pay the money back if you say anything."

    Child: "Understood"

    Parent: "You told people"

    Child: "No, I just posted on FaceBook that Gulliver was paying for our vacation. I didn't say how much or why or any of that stuff you said was confidential. I didn't actually *tell* anyone. The only people on my FaceBook are my friends, family, every guy I thought was cute once, and the pages for Love Pink and weed dispensaries and every company that gave me free stuff for a Like."

    Parent: "I'm selling you into slavery so you can learn how the world works."

    It's not the adult's fault for not covering every possible scenario to make sure the child understands. It's the parents' fault for being wrong about what their child understands. Huge difference, because in one case you put the responsibility of preserving a legal agreement in the hands of the child who did not and cannot sign an agreement, and in the other it's in the hands of the adult who did sign it.

  • by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @08:45PM (#46384597)

    What kind of retards are people raising? I got to hear lots of interesting things when I was young, and I always understood that I wasn't supposed to talk about it to anyone, even if my parents were present.

    Because we don't allow people to grow up today.

    Whereas quite a few years back, people were married really early, and raising children not long after they hit puberty. Both my Grandparents were married in their early teens. I was 21, and my better half 17 when we were married in the mid 70's. Today, 30 is considered a little early by many.

    Now, people in their late 20's are considered not fully mature. We've artificially extended childhood until then.. One thing is for certain, children will remain children as long as you allow them. This college age girl had the mental maturity that a 12 year old would have had at one time.

  • by martas (1439879) on Monday March 03, 2014 @05:57AM (#46386307)
    And then people have the audacity to be surprised when teenagers "rebel" and go off the deep end by resorting to drugs, petty crime, and general disobedience. Here you have a human being whose brain is telling them "you are grown up; time to start doing shit on your own, so you're not a burden to the tribe; your mom has about 8 kids younger than you to feed and look after", but everything around them is designed to deprive them of responsibility and autonomy. School is run by fascists armed with zero tolerance policies, parents are no better because cable news has convinced them that giving a teenager an inch of freedom will result in them doing vodka enemas, and popular culture feeds them the image of the typical teen as an infantile, bumbling idiot, whose greatest possible accomplishment is successfully sneaking out of the house to go to a pool party where they can drink to the point of throwing up and touch a few genitals.

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