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Guidelines Disclosure of Employee Personal Information to Third Parties

Guidelines – Disclosure of Employee Personal Information to Third Parties

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. F-25 defines personal information as recorded information about an identifiable individual, including but not limited to:

  • the individual's name, home or business address, or home or business telephone number
  • the individual's race, national or ethnic origin, color, or religious or political beliefs or associations
  • the individual's age, sex, marital status or family status
  • an identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned to the individual
  • the individual's fingerprints, other biometric information, blood type or inheritable characteristics
  • information about the individual's health and health care history, including information about a physical or mental disability
  • information about the individual's educational, financial, employment or criminal history, including criminal records where a pardon has been given
  • anyone else's opinion about the individual
  • the individual's personal views or opinions, except if they are about someone else.

The following guidelines are to assist Athabasca University (AU) employees to make appropriate disclosure decisions.

You may disclose an employee's personal information to a third party if the disclosure is not an unreasonable invasion of the employee's personal privacy. The following information is considered not to be an unreasonable invasion of an employee's personal privacy:

  • employment status
  • business address, telephone number, email address
  • job title and description
  • classification level and salary range
  • discretionary benefits
  • relevant educational qualifications
  • attendance at or participation in a public event or activity related to AU
  • personal information already in the public domain.
Certain personal information of an employee may be restricted in specific cases for security reasons. If the information is included on the staff directory, in a publication produced by AU, or on the Web, it is not restricted and can be released. If you are unsure about disclosing some information, call the employee and confirm before releasing the information.

You may disclose an employee's personal information to a third party if the employee has consented, in writing, to the disclosure. The following situations may apply:

  • providing exact salary information to a bank
  • home address and telephone number
  • providing a potential employer with performance evaluation information
  • providing a potential employer with employment history.

You may disclose an employee's personal information to a third party if the disclosure is authorized under section 40 of the FOIP Act. Some common situations are:

  • for the purpose for which the information was collected or compiled
  • for a use consistent with the purpose for which it was collected or compiled
  • for any purpose in accordance with an enactment of Alberta or Canada that authorizes or required the disclosure
  • for the purpose of complying with a subpoena, warrant or order issued or made by a court, person or body that has the jurisdiction to produce such an item
  • to an officer or employee of AU if the information is necessary for the performance of his or her duties
  • for the purpose of enforcing a legal right that AU has against any person
  • for the purpose of collecting a fine or debt owing by the individual to AU
  • for the purpose of determining or verifying an individual's suitability or eligibility for a program or benefit
  • for audit purposes
  • for the purpose of complying with a collective agreement
  • for the purpose of contacting the spouse, relative or friend of an injured, ill, or deceased employee
  • to an expert for the purposes of protecting the individual or public from harm
  • for the purpose of managing or administering personnel of AU.

  • Consult section 40 of the FOIP Act for a complete listing.


Office of the University Secretariat, February 2006

Updated May 30 2014 by Office of the University Secretariat

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