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Freedom Of Information Act Questions

What types of materials are not available under the Freedom of Information Act? What is a Freedom of Information Act request? The Freedom of Information Act is a federal freedom of information law. It allows for the full or partial release of information and documents controlled by the United States government. Read below where Experts have answered these questions and more.

In Pennsylvania, can a former employee access his/her personnel file under the Freedom of Information Act from the former employer?

That right in Pennsylvania is derived from Pennsylvania’s express law providing individuals with this right: Pennsylvania’s Personnel Files Act allows employees the right to inspect certain portions of their employment records for these and other purposes. The Act is codified as 43 P.S. Section 1321 et. Seq… The purpose of this Act is to acknowledge the right of both public and private employees to review files held by their employers that contain information about themselves, and not to permit access to employee’s personnel files by the general citizenry of Commonwealth.

What types of materials are not available under the Freedom of Information Act?

Although most Federal Communications Commission documents, records are accessible through the Act, some types of FCC records are not available under Section 552(b) of the Act. It contains nine types of records which are routinely exempt from disclosure under the Act, as follows:

  • Records classified national defense or foreign policy materials.
  • Internal personnel rules and agency practices.
  • Information specifically exempted from disclosure by another statute.
  • Trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential.
  • Inter- or intra- agency memoranda or letters which would not be available to a party in litigation with the agency.
  • Personnel, medical and similar files, disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
  • Records compiled for law enforcement purposes.
  • Records relating to the examination, operations, or condition of financial institutions.
  • Oil well data.

How can a current union employee request contract information from the contracting officer, other than a Freedom of Information Act request?

Employment issues do not normally fall under the Freedom of Information Act. It is no surprise the contracting officer would deny the information. Unions can be great for employees. They also deny an individual’s rights that are afforded non-exempt employees that are covered under various Federal and State laws, namely the Fair Labor Standards Act. An individual’s union contract is what governs when a dispute arises. It should spell out what happens when employees have a dispute with management, even the individual’s union management, who should have a copy of the contract. If all remedies have been exhausted under the union Contract, then a local labor attorney, who specialized in union disputes, should be consulted.

How can an employee file a Freedom of Information Act request to receive a copy of another employee’s personnel file from a private company?

Case Details: Also to obtain copies of a mediation on that employee who made false allegations.

The Freedom of Information Act does not apply to private companies, and therefore an individual would have no right to obtain another employee’s personnel file. Mediation files are also confidential in nature and cannot be accessed by third parties.

Under the Florida Sunshine law or the Freedom of Information Act, can a former employee view copies of his/her personnel file?

Florida’s Government-in-the-Sunshine law provides a right of access to governmental proceedings at both the state and local levels. It applies to any gathering of two or more members of the same board to discuss some matter which will foreseeably come before that board of action. There is also a constitutionally guaranteed right of access. Virtually all state and local collegial public bodies are covered by the open meeting requirements with the exception of the judiciary and the state Legislature which has its own constitutional provision relating to access.

If an individual wants to request employment records and the company will not provide them, an individual can try a Freedom of Information request. That is a letter that basically says an individual is requesting information in his or her personnel file. It should be specific to one incident if possible. Remember the company does not have to provide anything that has not been signed by the individual. Any record which is in the file and not signed belongs to the company. So an individual can make a request, but the company is not obligated to provide it.

A person may have many questions regarding the Freedom of Information Act. It is important to know your rights and options in acquiring information under the Freedom of Information Act. An individual may need to know the steps to take in order to receive this infomation. Experts can assist you in determining the actons to take. If you have other questions that have not been answered, Experts are always available to provide the assistance you need, at your convenience, from the comfort of your home.

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