Ethics

For the week ending 16 January 2010 / 29 Tevet 5770

Divulging Secrets

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Question: As a member of a research team working for a large pharmaceutical company I am sometimes approached by a friend employed as a researcher for a similar company and asked for details of the project I am working on. Although I believe I can trust my friend to refrain from divulging the information to his employer, I would like to know what is the right thing to do.

Answer: In the newly released second volume of his book "Pure Money", Dayan Shlomo Cohen, a member of a rabbinical court in Jerusalem, rules that it is absolutely forbidden for an employee to reveal any of his employer's secrets since this may cause him harm in the form of competition.

The thing to do is to tell your friend that even though you trust him it is unethical for you to do anything that is objectionable to the employer for whom you work.

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