Glassdoor Inc., the operator of the anonymous online job review site glassdoor.com, has requested of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to bar federal prosecutors’ attempt to unmask reviewers as part of a grand jury investigation.
Recently the company was ordered by U.S. District Judge Diane Humetewa for the District of Arizona to reveal the names of eight individuals who anonymously posted reviews about a federal contractor under investigation for fraud.
Glassdoor has refused to comply with the order, arguing on the reviewers’ behalf that they have a First Amendment right to speak anonymously and to associate freely on the online platform. The company filed its sealed notice of appeal from a contempt order on June 7.
In a blog post on Friday, Glassdoor general counsel Brad Serwin wrote the district court “applied the wrong standard in placing the interests of government ahead of Americans’ protected free speech rights under the First Amendment.” He added: “We hope to persuade the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to require a higher standard for these requests.”