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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 Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02, 2014 @12:47PM (#46382211)
    That's true of almost anyone who screwed themselves up recently. So?
  • Contracts (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Martz (861209) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @01:15PM (#46382411)

    The biggest screwup here is that the father has admitted to breaking the contract by saying "we needed to tell her something", when all he needed to do was say nothing and get the schools lawyers to prove that he told his daughter about the settlement; instead of her daughter finding out by eavesdropping on a conversation, reading a letter or bank statement.

    But yes, it's more of a law story than a tech story, but I can see the Your Rights Online angle. Just.

  • But... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by StripedCow (776465) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @01:15PM (#46382413)

    ...Eric Schmidt told us there should be no reason to have any secrets.

  • by mysidia (191772) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @01:27PM (#46382525)

    What penalty? They agreed to a settlement, and signed a contract. The loudmouth twat breached the contract, and lost the payment the contract called for. The offer was $80K if the plaintiff would STFU. Plaintiff didn't STFU, plaintiff doesn't get the money.

    Personally, I think "confidentiality for settlement" should be illegal anyways --- it's used by large companies to pressure individuals to keep quiet, OR as an excuse to deny payment for wrongs committed.

    BUT confidentiality is standard language, AND the daughter IF SHE WERE MATURE enough to have this divulged to her, should have known to ask for permission before sharing this kind of information.

  • by RockClimbingFool (692426) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @01:42PM (#46382629)
    I wholeheartedly agree with this. Confidentially agreements allow companies to hide patterns of illegal behavior. Repeated bad behavior should result in escalating fines and confidentially agreements just make it that much harder for the next victim to show that there is entrenched culture of abuse.
  • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:04PM (#46382801) Homepage

    " "Scumbag company" is an unproven assumption that you are making, nothing more."

    You don't seem to quite understand how the world works. This particular company may not be a scumbag company (though my understanding is that it is in fact one such organization.) This single case is immaterial. The fact is that many, many scumbag companies use the confidentiality "trick" to continue to exibit behaviours that, in many cases, lead to further deaths, disfigurements, etc. So you ask me, what's the alternative? That's easy. Make it illegal to keep secret the details of settlement agreements. Really. Seriously? You couldn't figure that out?

  • by Nyder (754090) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:56PM (#46383153) Journal

    Since the original agreement was not to sue and not to say something, and that got broken, nothing to keep him from taking them to court and suing over the original thing. Might even work to their favor. "Well your honor, they were going to pay us off, but then didn't when word of it got leaked out via facebook."

    As for the daughter, she's 19, time for her to leave the nest and earn her own living.

  • by Rich0 (548339) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @04:36PM (#46383695) Homepage

    I agree completely. Exclusive contracts and confidentiality clauses should be illegal. In fact, I'd go a step further and make any contract unenforceable in court unless it is published. Just provide a government service where anybody can publish a contract and anybody can peruse the contracts which are there. It would cost very little to operate or use in the modern age of computers.

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wor[ ]et ['f.n' in gap]> on Sunday March 02, 2014 @11:58PM (#46385635)

    Make it illegal to keep secret the details of settlement agreements.

    The problem is that there is value in the secrecy and people that are wronged, often just want a pound of flesh, not justice. Basically, it's "blackmail" for victims inside a legal framework. If it were illegal (as normal blackmail is), it wouldn't exist. The legal frame work is the incentive for the corporations to give in (w/o it, there's no incentive).

    Given the cost of legal representation to extract a pound of flesh, eliminating this form of legalized reverse blackmail is probably just a recipe for big corporations to out lawyer people. If society instead wanted justice, it wouldn't be an issue.

    Not sure that outlawing settlements w/ confidentiality agreements is a good alternative, but it certainly could be an alternative, but with both sides agree? My guess is that not only probably not, the lawyers would lobby against it (since they get paid from settlement money).

    Actually, there's a third path. It's to negotiate a non-confidentiality clause into the settlement.

    Basically the wronged party brings suit to the wronger. The two get together and hammer out a settlement (this is normal - most lawsuits are settled rather than go through the courts). One party wants confidentiality and they offer something for it. The other party is free to negotiate terms that don't include it, but then they need to give something up.

    Heck, perhaps they tried for it - and got a point where it was $20K if you don't want confidentiality, $80k if you do. Yes, it's a give-and-take, and for most people, that pound of flesh that's bigger is what they want.

    $60k to keep my mouth shut? Where's that dotted line?!

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