Seems innocent enough. Father tells college age daughter he settled his age discrimination case against his former employer. Daughter posts on Facebook (to her 1,200 friends), “Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver. Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.”
Patrick Snay was the headmaster of Gulliver Preparatory School where his daughter attended high school. He was terminated and filed an action claiming age discrimination. In 2011, the parties settled the case with Gulliver agreeing to pay Snay $10,000 in back wages, $80,000 in general damages, and $60,000 in attorneys fees. The agreement’s confidentiality provision prohibited Snay and his wife from disclosing the “terms and existence” of the agreement, according to the Miami Herald.
Immediately after settlement, Snay told his daughter, Dana, that the case was settled, and he was happy about the result. Dana posted to her 1,200 friends Facebook (many of whom were former Gulliver students), and Gulliver notified Snay they would not pay the $80,000. Snay sued to enforce the agreement. During depositions Snay claimed his daughter had suffered psychological damage during her enrollment at Gulliver and was aware her parents were in mediation. He said he knew the restrictions but had to tell her something. The trial judge agreed and enforced the agreement. However, the appellate court reversed ruling Snay and his daughter breached the confidentiality provision of the agreement when she bragged about it on social media.
On a nearly daily basis, we review the confidentiality provisions with the clients. Now I have something else to add — this cautionary tale.