Leaking confidential material criminal

But employers must be wary when exercising legal recourse
By Shannon Klie
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/14/2007

Jeff Monaghan, an Environment Canada employee, was arrested at his workplace in Ottawa and taken away in handcuffs by two RCMP officers last month for allegedly leaking the federal government’s environmental plan to media outlets and environmental agencies.

He is under investigation for breach of trust, a criminal offence with a maximum sentence of five years in jail.

Only employees who are officials (politicians or public servants) can be charged with breach of trust in this manner. Employee actions that could lead to such a charge include misusing the power of the office for personal gain or misusing company resources. The latter could include inappropriate Internet use or inappropriate use of proprietary or confidential information.