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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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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