Who is an American? For a “corporate person,” does the answer depend on where the corporation is headquartered? Or, should we look at the composition of its workforce? Last week, I looked at some tax data found in various securities filings to calculate the tax rate paid by various corporations. Today, I wanted to see how “American” some American companies really were by digging through employment data from the SEC EDGAR System.
EDGAR features a repository of financial data that companies have filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. From registration statements to annual reports, EDGAR offers a detailed glimpse at the state of various domestic and foreign businesses.
Back in October, I wondered whether this case would add to the growing list of personal rights for corporations. The short answer is no. The Court held that corporations are not entitled to a “personal privacy” exemption from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. 5 U. S. C. §552(b)(7)(C).
Last term, the buzz was all about Citizens United, which found that corporations are entitled to First Amendment free speech protection. This term, the Court has the opportunity to extend even more rights to corporations in AT&T vs. FCC, as AT&T seeks protection from unwarranted privacy violations under the Freedom of Information Act.
The Freedom of Information Act exempts from mandatory disclosure records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes when such disclosure could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of “personal privacy.” 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(7)(C)