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Albany paper sues over payroll records

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  1. Freedom of Information
The Albany Times Union filed a lawsuit in New York state court Wednesday seeking the release of an electronic copy…

The Albany Times Union filed a lawsuit in New York state court Wednesday seeking the release of an electronic copy of the state’s payroll tables. 

The Times Union received some of the information it requested through the state Freedom of Information Law, but was denied other parts.  The state has said the requested information cannot be separated from private information, such as individuals’ Social Security numbers.

However, the newspaper contends it is not seeking private information and what it wants is releasable.  Times Union reporter J. Robert Port, who made the request, has said the information would show the days of an employee’s hiring and when one received a pay increase, "making it possible to determine individual pay across different time frames."

He also said the public would glean information on what collective bargaining agents do and how New York compares to other states, according to the Times Union.