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Ask the HR Expert — Requesting confidential information

Camille Bradbury /
Text: "Ask the HR Expert"

Q: We received a letter from an attorney requesting confidential information from an employee record. Are we obligated to respond?

A: No.Without a subpoena, you are not legally obligated to provide the information an attorney is requesting. However, you may:

  1. Comply after verifying with the employee whose information is being sought if s/he approves of its release, or
  2. Wait to receive a subpoena for the requested information.

Bottom Line:
When it comes to providing confidential information, do your due diligence. Don’t turn over an employee’s confidential file without the proper permission or a court order to do so.

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