Glassdoor, Inc. v. Superior Court, 9 Cal. App. 5th 623 (2017)

Machine Zone, Inc. (“MZ”), a software developer, brought suit against an anonymous former employee (“John Doe”) who allegedly violated a nondisclosure agreement (“NDA”) by posting a review on Glassdoor (a website where workers can post “reviews” of their employers) that allegedly disclosed confidential information concerning MZ and its technology. When Glassdoor refused to identify Doe, MZ moved for an order compelling it to do so. The trial court granted the motion, but in this writ proceeding, the Court of Appeal concluded that MZ had failed to make a prima facie showing that Doe’s statements disclosed confidential information in violation of the NDA. The Court first concluded that Glassdoor has standing to assert Doe’s interest in maintaining his anonymity. The Court further held that the information Doe had posted on the Glassdoor website regarding MZ’s platform team and alleged statements from MZ’s CEO did not violate the NDA: “The question thus remains: Insofar as an employee’s statement about an employer’s internal activities is untrue, can it ever violate a nondisclosure agreement? We think the answer is obviously negative.”