Employee in the Know Keeps Company's Demise a Secret

DEAR ABBY: I work for a small company where I am privy to a lot of confidential information, and I know the owner is letting the business die. All of the experienced senior staff have quit because they recognized what's going on, but the new hires think this is normal. These are self-supporting young adults with college loans to pay off. One is a dad with a young child.

I feel so guilty looking for a job while everyone else is clueless about their future. Because it's part of my position to know how we are doing financially, I can't tell them they will be out of jobs soon. Or can I? -- KEEPING A SECRET

DEAR KEEPING: Much as you might wish to, I don't recommend that you spill the beans. If you reveal proprietary information to the other employees, and you signed a confidentiality agreement with your bosses at the time you were hired, as many employees do, you could be sued.

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