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Can an employee's name be used in company promotion without consent?

Expert: Jane Southren

Y. Mcintosh asked:

Can an employer use an employee's full name for both written and online promotion of its business without permission and consent of the employee?

Jane Southren answered:

There is no privacy protection or confidentiality rights in respect of employee names and work addresses generally speaking.

There may be some exceptions to that general statement but I would need to know a lot more about where this person works, what they do, why they feel they need their identity kept secret or why they felt their employer needed consent to use their name in order to figure out if there is any basis upon which to make a claim that the employer was not entitled to use their name without their consent in promotional materials.

It is always open to the employee to ask the employer not to use their name. Not necessarily as a matter of law, but as a matter of courtesy and out of a desire to keep its employees happy and comfortable, the employer may agree not to.

About the author

Jane practises as a civil litigator, with a focus in the areas of employment law, breach of contract, professional negligence and dispute resolution strategies. Having completed both her LLB and JD degrees from the law schools of the University of Windsor and the University of Detroit (Mercy) in 1995, Jane was called to the Ontario Bar in 1997, invited into the partnership of McDonald & Hayden LLP in Toronto in 2001.

In 2005 she joined Lerners LLP where she is now a partner in its commercial litigation group. Jane has appeared as counsel before the Superior Court of Justice, the Ontario Court of Appeal and a number of administrative tribunals. She is a member of The Advocates' Society and has participated in numerous legal and professional education programs, including acting as an instructor in the Ontario Bar Admission Course. During the course of her career, Jane has authored numerous articles in her areas of practice, including a regular column in the Advocates’ Brief, in which she offers practical advice and guidance to newer lawyers on subjects relating to their areas of practice.

Jane can be contacted by telephone at 416-601-4128 or via e-mail at

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