N&O again requests UNC Health Care salary information; Intranet salary database updated

Due to a request from the Raleigh News & Observer (N&O), and in line with North Carolina’s State Personnel Law, UNC Health Care will share an updated salary database with the N&O in mid-February. We do not know when the N&O will publish this information.

UNC Health Care's co-worker salary database on the Intranet has been updated as well. Since the information we must provide the N&O is a public record under North Carolina law, we believe that you should be able to access it on the Intranet without visiting other websites (and earning ad revenue for those websites).

The information we will provide to the N&O in mid-February includes:

  • Last Name
  • First Name
  • Middle Initial
  • Annual Salary
  • Hourly Rate
  • Title
  • Hire Date
  • State Service Date
  • Salary Effective Date
  • Last Salaried Increase Amount
  • Last Hourly Increase Amount
  • Last Decrease Date
  • Last Salaried Decrease Amount
  • Last Hourly Decrease Rate
  • Promotion Date
  • Demotion Date
  • Transfer Date

We will not include age in the information we provide to the N&O. Also, we have worked with Employee Relations and the Beacon Program to ensure that any employees under court-ordered domestic violence protection will not be included in the data we provide to the N&O. The N&O plans to include our salary information in its database of all North Carolina state employees. We expect that the N&O will request this information at least yearly in the future.

We understand that the release of this information may cause unease for you and wanted to let you know of this request before the information is provided to the N&O.

For more information about the North Carolina Public Records laws, and if you have any other questions, please first read the Q&As listed below. If your question is not answered, please contact your manager or send in a question through Glad You Asked.

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Questions & Answers about UNC Health Care’s Intranet salary database and sharing this information with the N&O


Why does UNC Health Care publish its own salary database on the Intranet?
We expect that the N&O will request this information on a regular basis in the future. And since this information is publicly available, we believe that you should be able to access it on the Intranet without visiting other websites (and earning ad revenue for those websites). The Intranet co-worker salary database is available here.


Are UNC Health Care employees just like all other state employees? In what ways are we different?
All UNC Health Care employees are State employees. As such, we may be qualified participants of the State Retirement System and State Health Plan and other State employment benefits. Legislation in 1998 provided UNC Health Care certain flexibility in terms of classifications of work and compensation for its employees, acknowledging our need to compete with other “private” healthcare employers.


I am afraid the release of this information is going to lead to cases of domestic violence. Is there someone I can talk to?
To help ease this concern, we have already worked with Employee Relations and the Beacon Program to remove several individuals from the salary database. We hope the possibility for violence is not increased because of legally required releases of public information. Anyone with concerns for the safety of themselves or others should contact the UNC Health Care Threat Response Team by calling 966-2261; the Beacon Program at 966-9314; or Hospital Police at 966-3686.


Shouldn’t employee records be covered by HIPAA?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 provides federal protection for personal health information (PHI). HIPAA also mandates that institutions secure PHI data. Employee records are not covered by HIPAA. UNC Health Care and other state universities and agencies are required to provide specific personnel data to the public in compliance with the North Carolina State Personnel Law. Personnel information is not PHI and is not protected by HIPAA.


I know that our salaries are public information, but why can’t our identities remain hidden?
Full names are part of the information that is required if a request is made under the State Personnel Law.


Am I at risk of identity theft?
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal identifying information, such as, your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes (source: FTC). This is a legitimate concern for all of us.

However, we do not have reason to believe that the information provided by Human Resources to the N&O will lead directly to identity theft. Information such as Social Security Number, bank account information, credit card information, and copies of utility bills are more likely to provide a criminal with information they need to do harm.

If you are concerned about identity theft please read this Consumer Alert, provided by the Federal Trade Commission, online at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt150.pdf.


How often is salary information provided to the media?
We expect to receive requests at least annually.


My information is incorrect. Can I have it updated?
Talk to your manager about any discrepancies that appear in the database. Your manager can then work with Employee Records in Human Resources to correct the information. We do not control the N&O database and do not know if or when the N&O will request new information.


Why doesn’t UNC Health Care protect my information?
UNC Health Care is a State agency. As a result, we are subject to the public disclosure provisions of the Public Records Act and the State Personnel Act. We receive records requests regularly and have recently fulfilled requests related to the UNC Health Care Enterprise Fund, our investment income, physician time reporting, charity expenses, and practice expenses. We make every effort to notify the affected parties when we must release information.


What other personal information can UNC Health Care give to the public?
The following information is public record: name; age; current department; date of original employment (entry-on-duty date); current position classification title; current salary; date and amount of most recent change in salary; and date of most recent promotion, demotion, transfer, suspension, separation, or other change in position classification.

The UNC Health Care Personnel Records policy also covers confidential information, such as an employee’s Social Security Number. Confidential information is not released through a records request, but can be accessed by certain authorized individuals. The list of authorized individuals can be found in the UNC Health Care personnel records policy.


Can you provide the full text of the relevant section of the State Personnel Law?
Yes. This information is also available online at http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_126/GS_126-23.html.

§ 126‑23.  Certain records to be kept by State agencies open to inspection.

Each department, agency, institution, commission and bureau of the State shall maintain a record of each of its employees, showing the following information with respect to each such employee: name, age, date of original employment or appointment to the State service, the terms of any contract by which the employee is employed whether written or oral, past and current, to the extent that the agency has the written contract or a record of the oral contract in its possession, current position, title, current salary, date and amount of most recent increase or decrease in salary, date of most recent promotion, demotion, transfer, suspension, separation, or other change in position classification, and the office or station to which the employee is currently assigned.

For the purposes of this section, the term "salary" includes pay, benefits, incentives, bonuses, and deferred and all other forms of compensation paid by the employing entity. Subject only to rules and regulations for the safekeeping of the records, adopted by the State Personnel Commission, every person having custody of such records shall permit them to be inspected and examined and copies thereof made by any person during regular business hours. Any person who is denied access to any such record for the purpose of inspecting, examining or copying the same shall have a right to compel compliance with the provisions of this section by application to a court of competent jurisdiction for a writ of mandamus or other appropriate relief. (1975, c. 257, s. 1; c. 667, s. 2; 2007‑508, s. 4.)


Who can I speak to further about this issue?
If you have a question that was not answered above please first discuss with your manager. If your manager is unavailable please use Glad You Asked to submit your question.

If you feel you cannot talk to your manager about this, or feel there has been an issue of discrimination please contact Employee Relations. At this time, please do not call Payroll, or HR Services, or Compensation and Benefits staff.