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6. Evaluations/performance reviews


  • California

    Exempt. See Versaci v. Superior Court, 127 Cal. App. 4th 805, 818-22, 26 Cal. Rptr. 3d 92 (2005) (holding that the personal performance goals of a former superintendent of a community college district established each year between the superintendent and the board and maintained as confidential as part of her personnel file were exempt from disclosure under California Government Code Section 6254(c).

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  • Delaware

    Evaluations and performance reviews are exempt as part of an employee’s personnel file. See Del. Op. Att’y Gen., No. 02-ib24 (Oct. 1, 2002) (adopting the definition in 19 Del. C. § 731).

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  • District of Columbia

    Not specifically addressed.

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  • Georgia

    Public employee personnel files are not exempt from disclosure under the Act. However, the Act does exempt “[r]ecords consisting of confidential evaluations submitted to, or examinations prepared by, a governmental agency and prepared in connection with the appointment or hiring of a public officer or employee.” O.C.G.A. § 50-18-72(a)(7).

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  • Iowa

    Performance records are exempt from disclosure and qualify as personal information in confidential personnel records. Am. Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Iowa, Inc. v. Records Custodian, Atlantic Cmty. Sch. Dist., 818 N.W.2d 231, 232 (Iowa 2012); Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist. v. Des Moines Register & Tribune Co., 487 N.W.2d 666, 670 (Iowa 1992).

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  • Maine

    In general, performance evaluations are confidential on the theory that public discussion “could reasonably be expected to cause damage to the individual’s reputation.”  1 M.R.S.A. § 405(6)(A). See also 30-A M.R.S.A. § 2702(1)(B)(2) (exempting municipal personnel records that contain performance evaluations); 5 M.R.S.A. § 7070(2)(B) (exempting the same for state employees); 30-A M.R.S.A. § 503(B)(2) (exempting the same for county employees).

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  • Massachusetts

    Generally held to be exempt as “personnel” information.  See Wakefield Teachers Ass’n v. Sch. Comm. of Wakefield, 431 Mass. 792, 798 (2000); Connolly v. Bromery, 15 Mass. App. Ct. 661, 664 (1983); Guide to Mass. Pub. Rec. Law 16–17 (Sec’y of State, rev. Mar. 2020),

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  • New Jersey

    N.J.S.A. 47:1A-10 provides:

    Notwithstanding the provisions of P.L. 1963, c. 73 (C. 47:1A-1 et seq.) or any other law to the contrary, the personnel or pension records of any individual in the possession of a public agency, including but not limited to records relating to any grievance filed by or against an individual, shall not be considered a government record and shall not be made available for public access, except that:

    an individual’s name, title, position, salary, payroll record, length of service, date of separation and the reason therefor, and the amount and type of any pension received shall be a government record;

    personnel or pension records of any individual shall be accessible when required to be disclosed by another law, when disclosure is essential to the performance of official duties of a person duly authorized by this State or the United States, or when authorized by an individual in interest; and

    data contained in information which disclose conformity with specific experiential, educational or medical qualifications required for government employment or for receipt of a public pension, but not including any detailed medical or psychological information, shall be a government record.

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  • New Mexico

    Letters or memoranda that are matters of opinion do not constitute public records.  See NMSA 1978 § 14-2-1(C).

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  • Oklahoma

    State agencies, as employers, may disclose a current or former employee’s job performance information and/or employee’s service evaluation to prospective employers only if such disclosure is done with the consent or at the request of the current or former employee. 1997 OK AG 48.

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  • Vermont

    “Personal documents relating to an individual, including information in any files maintained to hire, evaluate, promote, or discipline any employee of a public agency” are exempt from disclosure.  1 V.S.A. § 317(c)(7).  However, “all information in personnel files of an individual employee of any public agency shall be made available to that individual employee or his or her designated representative.”  Id.

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  • Virginia

    Performance and evaluation matters fall within the general personnel exclusion. See Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3705.1.1.

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  • Wisconsin

    Performance evaluations are exempt from disclosure if they are used by the employer for staff management planning. Wis. Stat. § 19.36(10)(d). Otherwise they are available for public inspection, subject to the balancing test.

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