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Lyric Opera Staff in Panic After Leak of 302 AGMA Employee W-2s

photo by Emily Mathews

Scapi Magazine received an email from an anonymous source at the Lyric Opera this morning saying that there has been a privacy concern at the company from late September that is only surfacing to employees this week.

The email states that a Lyric Employee accidentally sent the W-2s of every Lyric employee in the American Guild of Musical Artists, totaling 302 employees, to a former employee who had requested their individual W-2.

AGMA is the union that represents the choir and any singers the Lyric casts, there are separate unions for the orchestra and the stage crew.

There are multiple tiers to employee status in the choir: there are full-time members, but there are also a great deal of by-performance independent contractors. AGMA represents both, and the developments going forward fall under their responsibility.

This follows the recent resolution of the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra strike earlier this month, that was organized by the Orchestra’s union, the Chicago Federation of Musicians.

The email is a direct forward from the Lyric, copied here:

“On September 26, 2018, a Lyric payroll employee inadvertently provided a pdf file containing the 2016 W-2s of 302 current and former Lyric employees, who are or were AGMA members, to a former Lyric employee.  The former employee had asked Lyric Payroll for a copy of the former employee’s individual 2016 W-2 from Lyric Payroll, but the payroll employee responded by accidentally emailing a file that contained all 2016 W-2s to the former employee.

When the former employee opened the file and realized the mistake, the former employee immediately informed the payroll employee about the mistake.  The payroll employee asked the former employee to delete the file from the former employee’s computer.  The former employee confirmed, both in writing and verbally, that the former employee promptly deleted the file and did not print, forward, or copy any portion of the file prior to deletion. Lyric has no reason to believe the former employed misused any of the current or former employees’ personal information contained in the file.  However, as an added precaution, we are providing the current and former Lyric employees with credit monitoring and identity theft protection services, including $1 million identity fraud loss reimbursement, fraud consultation, and identity theft restoration.  Information on how to take advantage of these services is included in the notification letter these individuals will receive.  Lyric expects to mail these notices to the current and former employees later this week.

We are informing you of this incident out of our respect for AGMA’s relationship with these current and former members and in the interest of openness and transparency.”

Daniel Johanson (he/him) is a journalist and digital media specialist living in Chicago, Illinois. He serves as Editor-in-Chief at Scapi and in that capacity manages all things content, including writing and editing articles and producing digital content. His most recent work includes the docuseries Heart of a Nation: Tracking Socialism in the Midwest and co-hosting the podcast Scapi Radio. He spends his free time with cats.

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