is it a violation of privacy to take an employees payroll check home overnight?

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is it a violation of privacy to take an employees payroll check home overnight?

my sister’s boss gave every employee execept her and two other employees thier checks, and took my sister’s check and the two others home overnight. these checks have their social security number,birthdate, home address, and full name on it. with identity theft and such it seem a violation of privacy or something, surly. when my sister asked about it the lady literally cussed her out.this occured in the state of arkansas

Asked on June 19, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Your sister's company would have all that information for purposes of payroll and taxes. While not every manager or supervisor there would necessarily have access to it, presumably your sister's boss does, since he is handling the checks which have the info on. Since the company has a legitimate need for the information and it seems your sister's boss has a legimate ability to access the information, there is no invasion of privacy or other cause of action in the fact he took the checks home. (There are certainly legitimate reasons why he may have, such as not having had the chance to give the checks out before leaving and no wanting to leave them around the office; or simply forgetting he had them on him.)

That said, it would certainly be wise for your sister to monitor her identify and credit, such as my requesting the free credit reports she is entitled to and questioning *any* odd charge, bill, or delivery. If her boss makes use of the info for his own benefit or sells  or provides it to others, *that* would be give rise to a cause of action. So while nothing improper has happened yet, paying extra careful attention to credit and identify for at least a few months would be a good idea.


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