San Diego, CA asked in Employment Law and Communications Law for California

Q: Boss instructed me to email his client.

If I state in the email, “I am sending on behalf of my boss” and cc my boss, am I personally endorsing the contents and attachments? Even if I was instructed to send.

2 Lawyer Answers
Niran Grimberg
Niran Grimberg
Answered
  • Valley Village, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: California's Labor Code section 1102.5 states that if you complain/inform your employer of something you reasonably to be unlawful (in this case asking you to endorse contents and attachments), it is unlawful for your employer to retaliate against you. If you believe what your boss is asking you to send is unlawful, it may be wise to not attach your name to it so that you do not get involved in whatever it is that he is asking to send. If he or she then retaliates against you, you then may have some legally actionable claims. However, you would need to expand on the facts in order for an attorney to assess whether you may have any legally actionable claims.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
Answered
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: What you ask is really a question that will depend on the surrounding facts and circumstances. And it is unclear what you mean by personally endorsing. Anyone looking at the paper trial would see your "on behalf of" comment, and hearing your explanation probably conclude that you were simply carrying out an administrative task.

That said, if your fear arises from a concern that communication might result in legal consequences it may be appropriate to make it even cleared, such as "my boss asked me to convey the following information to you," or words to that effect.

If your concern is that the communication might be considered to be defamatory, or fraudulent or in other ways implicate you in an unlawful scheme, you have the right to refuse to do those things, and retaliation for refusing to participate in such a scheme would be unlawful. However before you refuse to do anything, it would be wise for you to seek the counsel of an employment law attorney.

Good luck to you.

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