UPDATE: Restraining Order Halting Birthdate Disclosure Extended

UPDATE 12/27/19: The court extended the temporary restraining order through March 31, 2020. This provides a small window of opportunity for legislators to update our state's public disclosure law. Click here to email your legislators.

Olympia, Wash. – The Superior Court of Washington for Thurston County issued a temporary restraining order December 18, halting the release of state employees’ names, birthdates, work locations, and work emails.

AFSCME Council 28, along with other labor unions, pursued the order after members—many of whom are survivors of domestic abuse—voiced serious privacy concerns. Judge Christopher Lanese acknowledged the safety risk in his ruling:

“…a temporary restraining order is appropriate as it appears that release of certain information requested by the Freedom Foundation concerning employees of the State of Washington may seriously endanger at least some of those employees; and that unless the defendant is restrained, there is the immediate danger of irreparable physical injury to those employees from others facilitated by the release of such information…”

AFSCME Council 28/WFSE President Mike Yestramski issued the following statement:

“State employees should not have to give up their safety and privacy just because they chose a career in public service. The release of personally identifiable information puts workers and their families at risk, and our union will not rest until protections are put in place.

Legislators should take immediate action and revise our state’s antiquated public disclosure law. Our state can craft policy that respects both the need for government transparency and employee safety.”

Our Safety Matters: Tell legislators to fix the law.