Is a company liable for carelessly exposing social security numbers of job applicants?

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Is a company liable for carelessly exposing social security numbers of job applicants?

On the first day of training for a new job, I was handed a page which on the
opposite side was a job application with a recent applicants name, social
security number, birthday and address. When I complained to the account
manager, he claimed he didnt notice it.

I quit soon after because I did not like the account managers unprofessional
attitude. I wanted to pick up my final paycheck, but it was mailed instead and
lost in the mail. The company claims I have to wait 30 days for a replacement.
I believe the account manager retaliated because I quit and complained about
the social security numbers being exposed. What can I do to protect the IDs of
those whose SS were exposed?

Asked on May 23, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You can't do anything to protect them, other than (if you remember who they are) let them know to potentially keep an eye out for identity fraud due to the way their SSNs were handled. There is no punishment for an employer accidently giving out a paper to an employee with another employee's SSN on it. The law is not as draconian as to punish companies for minor (e.g. one person) slips in document handling (and there are not nearly enough recourse in government agencies to look into or take action about cases like this).


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