Q & A Session – Disciplinary Records and Privacy Act Violation


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


Is it a violation of the Privacy Act if an employer discloses information regarding an employee’s disciplinary file, especially if it false?


The Privacy Act prohibits unauthorized disclosure of private information contained in a system of records. It also requires that records be maintained with accuracy. If you believe the employment reference check form is inaccurate and assuming it exists in a system of records (which it probably does), the Privacy Act provides a means to correct the inaccuracy.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

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