City of Boston apologizes for accidentally emailing names of unvaccinated employees: report

The city of Boston apologized for “accidentally” sharing information revealing that around 100 employees were not vaccinated and tested positive for coronavirusaccording to a report.

The city’s human resources department sent an email Jan. 18 to about 100 employees notifying them that they had submitted information indicating they had tested positive for COVID-19. The email – which had all names and emails visible on the channel – said policy had changed to no longer allow testing to continue and that recipients would be required to get vaccinated or face d possible disciplinary measures.

“Under previous City policy, you submitted information related to a positive COVID-19 test result,” the first email sent to the approximately 100 non-compliant employees, obtained by the Boston Herald, read. “As further testing is no longer allowed under the policy, please be aware that you must get vaccinated in order to comply with the policy if you have not already done so.”

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A few days later, the human resources department issued an apology to the same group of employees, the Herald reported.

“Unintentionally and accidentally we messed up,” the follow-up email reads. “The communication was intended to be sent as a Bcc to respect employee privacy. The wrong button was pressed and so the email was sent listing all email addresses.”

“We apologize for the error,” the email continued. “We take employees’ privacy interests very seriously and have reviewed and improved our practices and guidelines to ensure this never happens again… We will do better. Thank you for your understanding.”

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The city told the newspaper that the recipients of the initial email were meant to be black-copied, meaning their names and emails would have been hidden from other recipients.

A union representing Boston Public Library workers has raised the issue with the human resources department and the city’s labor relations office about what they describe as a breach of privacy.

“People need to be held accountable for these kinds of actions,” said Elissa Cadillic of AFSCME Local 1526. “All of these people now know each other’s business.”

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