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New law on privacy in place: How to comply

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If you haven’t already taken appropriate measures to comply with New York’s new privacy law that took effect in January, do so now before the Commissioner of Labor moves to assess civil penalties.

Amendments to the New York Labor Law now require employers to protect employees from identity theft and other potential privacy problems. Here’s how to comply:

  • Remove employees’ Social Security numbers from any documents visible to those with no right to the information, such as badges, time cards and the like.
  • Never post a Social Security number in a public place or allow any documents with the number to be placed in files to which you have not restricted access. One way to do this is to segregate the documents into the files you use for other confidential information, such as medical records.

The law also says you must protect employees’ Social Security numbers, home addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, passwords, maiden names and driver’s license numbers from public access.

Final tip: You may want to educate employees on the privacy perils of e-mail. Work with IT and offer training to employees on how to conceal recipients’ actual e-mail addresses. Review your Internet and privacy policies now to make sure they comply with the law.

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