Employee personal information

is is lawful to have a company newsletter that includes employee’s birthdays and or an employee address list without getting the employee’s consent?

Asked on September 28, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Not all employee information is confidential: employee names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. are common examples of non-confidential information. Actually, most is not confidential: only information relating to SSNs, results of drug tests (if any), other health-or disability related information, and the like is legally confidential. (There is other information which is may be a good practice to keep confidential, like salary or wages, but the law does not require it.) It's more the case that something is only legally confidential if there is a law making it so--in the absence of a legal obligation to keep it confidential, it may be disseminated. A birthday is not confidential, though date of birth, while not technically confidential, should not be put out: DOB goes to age, and age is a sensitive, protected category at work. So the employee birthday may be publicized. 
That said, some employees do NOT like having their birthdays (even without DOB) bandied about: it would be better practice to let employees opt out at their option.

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