Employers Must Protect Employees’ Social Security Numbers

In a recent newsletter update from the Krupin O’Brien employment law firm, attorney Natalie Cantor Gros wrote an informative article regarding the importance of employers protecting the Social Security numbers of employees.

The article points out that a Michigan employer paid $275,000 settlement to group of 911 operators whose Social Security numbers were stolen when a labor union employee brought home documents containing Social Security numbers and the employee’s daughter use the information to make unauthorized purchases.

Michigan has passed a law designed to protect employees’ Social Security numbers and other states are following. With about 9 million victims of identity theft in 2005 it is critical that employers take adequate steps to protect employees’ Social Security numbers.

Employers should be particularly careful of allowing employees to have such confidential and private information on laptops. I have read over and over again about the loss of sensitive information on stolen laptops. Will employers ever learn?