NTEU Sues OPM Over Data Breaches

The National Treasury Employees Union has sued the Office of Personnel Management over the agency’s data breaches, alleging that OPM violated the constitutional rights of federal employees by failing to protect their personal information.

The National Treasury Employees Union has become the second federal union to sue the Office of Personnel Management over the recent data breaches that left the personal information of several million current and former federal employees vulnerable.

The American Federation of Government Employees also recently filed a class action lawsuit against OPM over the data breaches at the agency.

NTEU’s lawsuit alleges that OPM’s failure to protect federal workers’ personal data is a violation of their constitutional rights.

The lawsuit is also seeking lifetime credit monitoring for the federal workers impacted by the breach.

Specifically, the lawsuit asks the court to:

  • Declare that OPM’s failure to improve cybersecurity was an unconstitutional act
  • Order OPM to pay for lifetime credit-monitoring services and identity-theft protection for NTEU members
  • Order OPM to take all the necessary steps to heighten its IT security program and protect NTEU members’ data from falling into the hands of hackers in the future
  • Prevent OPM from collecting personal information from NTEU members electronically or requiring them to submit such data in an electronic form until the court is satisfied with the agency’s cybersecurity upgrades

Speaking on the lawsuit, NTEU National President Colleen M. Kelley said, “It is outrageous that OPM was told years ago that its cybersecurity protections were woefully inadequate but did little about it. On top of it, OPM has done little to dispel the anxiety that NTEU members are experiencing.”

Kelley also added, “Federal employees entrust highly personal information to OPM with the expectation that it will be kept confidential and safe from unauthorized access. OPM’s failure to do so violated our members’ constitutional right to informational privacy. We believe that a lawsuit is the best way to force OPM to take immediate steps to safeguard personnel data, prevent such attacks in the future and help our members protect themselves against the fallout.”

A copy of the lawsuit is included below.

NTEU v. Archuleta

See also: AFGE Sues OPM Over Data Breaches

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.