Updates on cases, laws, and other topics of interest to local governments

Subscribe by Email

Enter your Email:
Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Subscribe in a Reader

Follow Municipal Minute on Twitter


Blog comments do not reflect the views or opinions of the Author or Ancel Glink. Some of the content may be considered attorney advertising material under the applicable rules of certain states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Please read our full disclaimer

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Contractor Employee Names on Certified Payrolls Releasable Under FOIA

In the 10th binding opinion of 2017, the PAC office of the Attorney General found a municipality in violation of FOIA for redacting employee names from a certified payroll record provided in response to a FOIA request. PAC Op. 17-010

A union representative had filed a FOIA asking for copies of payroll records for a particular construction project. The City provided the records, but redacted the contractor employees' names, addresses, social security numbers, and drivers' license numbers. The union filed a request for review with the PAC contesting the redaction of the employee names. The PAC ruled in favor of the union requester, finding that the municipality should not have redacted the names. The PAC acknowledged that section 2.10 of FOIA authorizes a public body to redact from certified payroll records the contractor employees' addresses, telephone numbers, and social security numbers, but noted that this statute does not allow redaction of the employees' names. The PAC also stated that the contractor employees' names were not likely to qualify as "highly personal information" that would fall under the "personal privacy" exemption of 7(c) of FOIA. 

The PAC also noted that the municipality failed to explain the reasons for redacting the other information when it provided the redacted records to the union.  It is important to remember that redacting a record is considered a partial denial, meaning that a public body is obligated to cite the exemption that authorizes the redaction, provide a detailed factual basis for why the exemption was used, and notify the requester of its right to appeal the partial denial.  

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


Post a Comment