Need to know basis only?

I work for the federal government and must fill out a lengthy application in order to apply for other positions within the agency that I work for. The application contains a fair amount of information that is listed as protected in the Privacy Act of 1974. If the manager of the area that I am applying for distributes copies of my complete application to other employees that are not in a managerial role, is this a violation of my privacy?

Posted  11-08-2012

Steve Duggan replies:

The simple answer is “yes”, you do have a right to privacy and it must be protected by management. It would be a clear violation of that right if a manager distributed your private information to employees who do not have a need to know. If that has happened, you have remedies under federal laws that are available to you, and you should complain either to human resources or someone in upper manager. You also have the right to go to the inspector general for your agency.


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About the Author:

Steve Duggan graduated from the Law School at the University of Notre Dame while on active duty in the Air Force. He has extensive experience representing management litigating cases of wrongful termination, employment discrimination, and sexual harassment. Steve also has experience in all phases of administrative litigation of unfair labor practice charges, and class and individual complaints of employment discrimination. He has been an instructor of seminars for supervisors and managers on labor management relations and other personnel issues, and for lawyers in basic and advanced trial advocacy courses. Steve came on board with Fair Measures in 1998.