Title 45, Chapter 20, Section 15
(a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) "Counseling session" means any discussions or meetings between
a state employee or other employee covered by the state merit
system and an official or other employee of the state merit
system, which discussions or meetings are conducted under an
official program established by the commissioner.
(2) "Information" means any written document or material acquired
or produced as a part of a counseling session or the contents
thereof and the contents of any discussions held as a part of a
(3) "Program" means the employee relations counseling function
established by the commissioner under which a covered employee is
entitled to confidential counseling with regard to job related
(b) Except as provided in subsections (c), (d), and (e) of this Code
section, information received or developed by the merit system staff
in performing its counseling functions shall be maintained as
confidential by the merit system and shall not be subject to
disclosure by the merit system unless such information relates
directly to proof of the possible violation of a criminal statute.
(c) Information may be disclosed if such disclosure is authorized,
in writing, by all parties to the counseling session in which the
information was produced.
(d)(1) Nothing contained in this Code section shall be construed
to prohibit any person from disclosing any fact the knowledge of
which was obtained independently of a counseling session.
(2) The state merit system counselor may disclose information
obtained in a counseling session to a manager of the state merit
system for the purpose of employee counseling. Any such
disclosure shall be confidential and the person to whom the
information is disclosed shall be subject to the restrictions
contained in subsection (b) of this Code section.
(e) Information received by a state merit system counselor during a
counseling session, which information indicates that unlawful
activity is being conducted in the employee's agency, may be
disclosed to the commissioner. The commissioner may then notify the
commissioner of any agency involved, the Governor, or the Attorney
General for appropriate action.
(f) Any hearing before the board or one of its hearing officers
regarding the dismissal of a state employee covered by the merit
system must be held in the county in which the employee is employed
unless all parties agree to another location.