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Make sure personnel files are in good hands

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in Your Office Coach

Question: “Our human resources manager frequently takes home confidential employee information. Recently, he left personnel files on the front seat of his car while it was being serviced at a garage. Given the risk of identity theft, this seems highly irresponsible. His boss doesn’t seem to care, so what can we do?”  Concerned

Answer: Protection of confidential information should be a top priority of any human resources department. If personnel records must be removed from the office, they should never be left where others can have access to them.

Since management seems indifferent, try having a non-confrontational discussion with the HR manager. For example: “With all the reports of identity theft, I’m worried about the privacy of our personnel information. When you have to take files out of the office, how do you insure that no one else will see them?” 

If you personally observed the garage incident, you might mention it to illustrate the risk. But if that was hearsay, use a hypothetical example instead.

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