Leading global job portal Glassdoor.com has been ordered by a Texas court to reveal the identity of an anonymous poster who left two negative reviews of a US lingerie company. The court denied the website’s claim that its reviewers’ anonymity is protected by law.
Glassdoor prides itself on being the most transparent job portal in the online classifieds space. Users are able to view a company’s employee reviews and ratings before applying for a role. There’s also the option to leave a review anonymously.
The reviews in question accuse online lingerie retailer Andra Group of unethical and even illegal business practices. It’s alleged they violated labour laws, have illegal hiring practices, employ illegal immigrants and that their management harass people based on race and sexual orientation.
Former employees are entitled to leave negative reviews, but the court argued that because they involve allegations of illegal activity, the reviewer’s identity must be revealed so the authorities can investigate.
“These assertions are not examples of rhetorical hyperbole or mere personal opinion. They are accusations of illegal conduct that are capable of being proved true or false,” the court stated. As a result, it has ordered Glassdoor to reveal the identities of two reviewers to allow Andra to investigate the claims.
The company had taken Glassdoor to court over a total of ten negative reviews, alleging they caused the business losses of more than US$88,000.
In an email to Human Resources magazine Glassdoor stated they were disappointed in the court’s decision not to protect the reviewer’s anonymity
“We are disappointed in the appellate court’s ruling involving our members and two Glassdoor reviews. We are currently evaluating our options. It’s important to note that Glassdoor prevailed in the lower court to protect the anonymity of eight additional Glassdoor members that Andra Group sought to reveal,” they said.