SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon State Police union issued a statement about the release of personal medical data of state employees, including OSP troopers.
On Monday, the vaccination status of over 40,000 executive branch employees was accidentally emailed to The Oregonian/OregonLive and the Statesman Journal.
The data revealed OSP and the Department of Corrections have higher rates of religious exemption approvals than other state agencies.
OSP released the following statement after the leak:
October 19, 2021
On behalf of its members, the Oregon State Police Officers Association has been trying to negotiate with the State over the Governor’s Executive Order. To date, the State has been recalcitrant at best to address the concerns of our members. In particular our members are concerned about the disclosure of their personal medical and religious information.
Despite numerous requests by the Association to limit the maintenance and disclosure of that information, our worst nightmare has been realized. On October 18, 2021 the State of Oregon released the personal medical and religious information to the media. The State did this despite the ongoing requests regarding where the information would be stored and who would have access to it.
Apparently, the State felt it was appropriate to allow the DAS public relations director access to sensitive personnel information. One wonders who else has access. The data breach is one more example of the State’s failure to take into consideration the concerns of its employees.
The Association has requested that the State identify who received this information and to take steps to recover the information. The Association has by letter requested the Oregonian and the Statesman Journal to return the information and deleted it from their files. The Association should not have to make this request, but the Association at this point cannot depend on the Department of Administrative Services to follow up on their error.
The Oregon State Police Officers Association remains committed to looking after its members and will take the appropriate steps to remedy this situation. The Association has asked the State to disclose the specific information released, and who it was released to. The Association has filed the appropriate grievance under the contract with the State and are exploring other legal remedies.
Joshua W. Wetzel, President
Oregon State Police Officers’ Association