Glassdoor operates a website that posts employees’ anonymous reviews of their employer. It posted 125 employee reviews of a health care company that an Arizona federal grand jury was investigating for possible False Claims Act and other violations. The grand jury subpoenaed Glassdoor to obtain the e-mail addresses of the anonymous employees responsible for the posts, thinking they might have valuable evidence regarding the employer’s allegedly illegal practices. Held, the district court properly enforced the subpoena. Such a subpoena should be enforced unless the subpoenaed party shows the grand jury investigation is being conducted in bad faith. See Branzburg v. Hayes (1972) 408 U.S. 665. Glassdoor had no evidence of bad faith, so the subpoena was properly enforced.
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal (Tallman, J.); November 8, 2017; 2017 WL 5504965.