Personnel

Harki v. DCJS

Harki v. Department of Criminal Justice Services: DCJS must turn over database of training records for law enforcement officers. Judge Joseph A. Migliozzi Jr. agrees that they are personnel records, but notes that the department said it would turn the records over (i.e., exercise their discretion to release records that could be withheld) and then reneged. The opinion also rejects the DCJS argument that it didn't own the database and that it really belonged to the individual law enforcement agencies that supplied the data.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-06-13

A contract between a public body and a public employee settling an employment dispute may be withheld as a personnel record. However, accounting records that reflect payments pursuant to a settlement agreement are not exempt.

Saltville v. Surber

Judge in Saltville reviewed under seal several documents related to a former town employee. He eventually ruled that some of them must be released to a newspaper, over the former employee's objection, and that others did not have to be released because they did not discuss public business. Read the full final order here.

Bland v. Virginia State University (Supreme Court, 6/8/06)

In FOIA cases, complete set of records must be included on appeal to afford Supreme Court full review on the merits. Trial court erred in refusing plaintiff's motion to include full set of records.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-03-05

personnel files at most governmental agencies are available to the subject of the records, but not if the subject is the employee of an educational agency.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-23-04

Citizen applications for a vacant board of supervisors seat are exempt from disclosure as personnel records. A public body may charge $6 for a two-page document if that reflects the actual cost to the public body to produce it.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-04-04

The Department cannot require you to pay charge that included charges for copies that you clearly did not request, and includes a charge for the benefits of the person that responded to your request, which is not an allowable charge. While FOIA does require the Department to provide you with records of the salary of Department employees, it does not require that benefits information also be made available. The Department could, at its discretion, withhold such information as a personnel record pursuant to subdivision A 4 of § 2.2-3705. In providing you the salary information, FOIA does not require the Department to create lists or spreadsheets including this information; providing you with individual records showing each employee's salary would satisfy the requirements of FOIA. While providing you with a spreadsheet of the salary information may be the most user-friendly format, the Department may not charge you for the creation of such a record without first reaching an agreement with you concerning the costs associated with its creation. The Department may still create the spreadsheets, absent an agreement, if it feels more comfortable providing the information in that format, but it cannot recoup these costs if you did not agree to it. Finally, the Department may not deny you the right to inspect the records on the grounds that you have not paid $207.50 because it did not estimate the charges in advance and request a deposit. Therefore, the records must be made available to you for inspection in accordance with your original request.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-04-03

The general results of an employee survey about working conditions should be released under FOIA, although those portions of the surveys that deal with identifiable individuals may be withheld as a personnel record.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-02-03

Government body could not withhold personnel records pertaining to an employee subject to a disciplinary action from that employee, even if there was an active investigation in progress. Portions of the record not pertaining to that person could be redacted.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-07-02

Timesheets that reveal more than an employee's job classification and rate of pay are exempt as personnel records rather than open under the FOIA provision mandating disclosure of salary info for employees making more than $10,000 annually. The Library of Virginia's Records Management and Imaging Services classification of records does not affect their status as open or exempt records under FOIA.

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