LANSING, Mich. (CN) – A teachers’ union does not have the right to access the home addresses and phone numbers of 16,000 University of Michigan employees who withheld their information from the university directory, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled.
The teachers sued the university under the Freedom of Information Act, but the court ruled that the information is private and confidential, and thus exempt from disclosure.
“Disclosure of this information would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy,” Justice Young wrote, “primarily because the core purposes of FOIA would not be advanced by its disclosure to plaintiff.”
More than 28,000 university employees have their addresses and phone numbers published in the university directory. The teachers’ union sought the information on the 16,000 employees who withheld their information from the directory.
Some of the six employees who submitted affidavits said that the publication of their information would threaten their families’ safety.