Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wyo. High Court Says School Employees' Salaries Public Records

Wyoming state welcome sign, along Interstate 8...Image via WikipediaIn Laramie County School District No. One  v. Cheyenne Newspapers, Inc. d/b/a Wyoming Tribune Eagle & D. Reed Eckhardt (Case No. S-10-0221), the Wyoming Supreme Court this week upheld the trial court ruling that school district employees' names and salaries are not exempt from disclosure under the Wyoming Public Records Act ("WPRA") [Wyo. Stat. Ann. secs. 16-4-201 to 16-4-205].

In a 14-page opinion, the Wyoming High Court rejected the school district's argument that disclosure violated a Wyoming Education Code provision mandating publication of salaries without identifying the individual school district employees by name. The Tribune Eagle sought the documents in December 2009 under the WPRA, which makes public records "open for inspection by any person at reasonable times."

The Supreme Court ruled that although the newspaper was entitled to view records showing the employees' names and salaries, that other personal information, such as Social Security numbers and birthdates may be redacted to protect employee privacy because such information "is not part of the terms and conditions of employment."

The case was reported by the Website of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (

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