From: Jobin-Davis, Camille (DOS)
Sent: Monday, October 05, 2009 5:01 PM
Subject: Freedom of Information Law - unwarranted invasion of personal privacy


In response to your question about whether an agency has the authority to redact gender from a
payroll database, please note the following, as excerpted from a previous advisory opinion (link to the opinion in parentheses):

“As the foregoing analysis and judicial precedent relate to the items to which you referred, with few exceptions, I believe that they must be disclosed. In my opinion, one’s gender ordinarily has little relation to one’s duties. However, an employee’s gender in most instances can be ascertained through that person’s name, and I do not believe that a court would find that the gender of public employees would be considered an item so intimate that disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. I believe, however, that disclosure of one’s race or ethnicity may be withheld by local government agencies and must be withheld by state agencies.” (


Camille S. Jobin-Davis, Esq.
Assistant Director
NYS Committee on Open Government
Department of State
99 Washington Ave, Suite 650
Albany NY 12231

518/474-2518 (Tel)