Invasion of privacy in workplace

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Invasion of privacy in workplace

Have recently learned that my personnel file at my employer is not secure and is available for anyone to view. It contains all of my personal information, including social security number, address and medical information regarding a surgery I had many years ago. My employer is a very large corporation with subsidiaries and locations located around the globe. It appears that employees files and private information is not being properly protected. What type of legal rights do I have to get this issue fixed company wide and make sure that employees privacy records are kept confidential?

Asked on February 8, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You don't have any good options:
1) You could bring a lawsuit seeking a court order that they keep certain information secure, but such a suit is an expensive proposition and the outcome will only apply to you and any other employees who join with you in the suit (unless the company voluntarily settles on a broader basis), since a lawsuit's outcome only affects those participating in it.
2) IF any actual harm befalls you which can be traced to poor data security at your employer (e.g. another employee opens accounts in your name or engages in identity theft using your unsecured social security number), you could potentially sue your employer for the losses provably caused by their negligence.


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