Disclosure to the Public

The name, job title, business phone or business email of an employee is not considered to be personal information of the employee and can be released without the consent of the employee.

Section 23(2)(a)(c)(f) of LAFOIP specifically provides that personal information does not include:

  • classification, salary, discretionary benefits or employment responsibilities of employees;
  • financial details of a contract for services; and
  • travelling expenses of employees.

This would include publishing salary information on the school division website.

However, in a recent case involving the Regina Health region, the Privacy Commissioner reviewed a similar practice in the health region and cautioned against doing it. His main concerns arose because of the publication on the internet and the easy access to this information by other parties such as web search engines. The power of such engines to mine information was not contemplated when the LAFOIP legislation was put in place.

There is a real distinction between providing the details of salaries in response to a request versus publishing them on the internet. While transparency is important it can be achieved by other means such as not publishing the names and salaries on the website but instead replacing that section of the annual report with a note stating that salaries of employees can be obtained upon request. The school division can then still go ahead and publish hard copies of the annual report with salaries included and can include the salary information in copies sent electronically to specific parties such as the Ministry.

For the investigation report from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner regarding the disclosure of salaries view Investigation Report LA-2012-002 – Regina Qu’Appelle Health Authority.

Section 10(g) of the regulations to LAFOIP provides that the board of education (board) can release, without consent, information concerning:

  • the performance of any function or duty by an employee;
  • the terms or circumstances under which a person ceased to be an employee; and
  • the terms of any settlement or award arising from the termination of employment.

Virtually everything else not specifically excluded by the provisions of LAFOIP will be considered personal information of the employee and cannot be disclosed without the consent of the employee.

Safety should be considered when requested to release the physical location of the site where the employee works, for example, the school a teacher works.

Details of an employee’s work schedule relate to job function and would not qualify as personal information. Such details can therefore be released without consent of the employee. It is good practice, however to let the employee know that such information will be released to a third party.

The board cannot release a list of staff (i.e. retirees or winners of service awards) to external agencies or individuals so they can send congratulatory messages unless written consent is obtained from the individual staff member.

For further information on disclosure of employee record to the public see case Dagg v. Canada (Minister of Finance), 1997, 2 S.C.R. 403.