A breach of trust had been committed in an Oregon state administrative agency after a communications manager at the Oregon Department of Administrative Services disclosed the vaccination status of more than 40,000 state employees to news agencies by mistake on Monday, The Blaze news reported.
News Organizations Received the Data
According to external relations director Adam Crawford of the Oregon Department of Administrative Services, it was a careless move on his part to release the spreadsheet containing the vaccination status of state employees over thousands that is supposed to be private. However, they clarified that the file did not contain personal information, such as home addresses or Social Security numbers.
The Oregonian/OregonLive and the Statesman Journal received a spreadsheet from Adam Crawford on Monday. It contained detailed information on the vaccination status of all executive branch employees and whether they were exempt from the state’s vaccine mandate due to medical or religious reasons.
The Information was Not Made Public
The spreadsheet also showed if an employee’s vaccination record or exemption request was still being reviewed or if no information had been submitted at all. Personal information on Oregon state employees was not made public by any of the news organizations. He sent the Statesman Journal a simplified version of the spreadsheet and requested that personal information not be published in a follow-up email.
Democratic Governor Kate Brown released an executive order in August mandating all executive branch employees to be completely vaccinated against COVID-19 by Monday midnight. As the mandate went into force, several news agencies requested the latest information on vaccine and vaccine exemption rates for each executive agency. Governor Brown accepts religious exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
However, a representative for the Oregon Public Services and Care Provider Union claimed the release of that information is a violation of an agreement the union established with the state in September to keep employees’ vaccination records confidential.