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Certain Employee Records Subject to the Open Records Act

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Reviewed Date: October 03, 2017

Original Author: 
Bingham, Pamela
Date Created: 
Apr 26, 2000


Subjects:
Personnel--Laws and regulations
Records management--Open records

Certain Employee Records Subject to the Open Records Act

Summary: 
MTAS was asked whether an employee's medical information contained in a first injury report was confidential and therefore not subject to disclosure.

Knowledgebase-Certain Employee Records Subject to the Open Records ActThis is in response to your question of this morning with respect to whether certain employee records are subject to theTennessee Public Records Act (TPRA). In particular, you asked if an employee’s medical information contained in a first injury report was confidential and therefore not subject to disclosure.

The answer is yes, such information is confidential.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-3-702, relevant to accident reports, provides in pertinent part:

(b) The employer's first report of work injury records which are maintained by the bureau are confidential. After completing a standard authorization form which shall be provided by the bureau, an employee or an employee's attorney may obtain a copy of any report that concerns the employee's work injury. An employer may inquirein writing of the bureau to determine whether a job applicant has responded truthfully concerning any prior work injury. Nothing contained within the provisions of this subsection (b) shall be construed or implemented to alter or amend existing law pertaining toOccupational Safety and Health AdministrationOSHA Form 300 reports....

One exception is that the foregoing does not apply to a collective bargaining agent as certified by the national labor relations board. Since municipalities, with few exceptions, are not authorized to enter into collective bargaining agreements, that exception is unlikely to come into play very often.


About Our Knowledgebase

MTAS letters and publications were written based upon the law at the time and/or a specific sets of facts. The laws referenced in the letters and publications may have changed and/or the technical advice provided may not be applicable to your city or circumstances. Always consult with your city attorney or an MTAS consultant before taking any action based on information contained in this database.