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Protecting Employee Personal Information: Three Ways Every Employer Must Ensure Privacy Law Compliance

Posted on in Employee Handbooks and Policies

Arlington Heights business law attorney, privacy law complianceAs an employer, you wear many hats when it comes to the operation of your business. Whether you own the business directly or work in partnership with the owners to ensure the production runs smoothly and efficiently to guarantee its success, complying with various privacy business laws is extremely important. It is easy to overlook certain requirements, especially when you are unfamiliar with or unclear on a particular law.

The Purpose of Privacy Law in the Business Realm

Simply put, the purpose of privacy laws is to ensure the protection of sensitive personal information, such as social security numbers, credit card information, and other financial data. The information you gather from your employees can potentially place them at risk for identity theft, harassment from creditors and salesmen, and a number of other inconveniences. 

It is your responsibility as an employer to keep this information from falling into the wrong hands. Not only can the mishandling of personal information be seriously detrimental to your employees, it can also come back to bite you when an employee holds you responsible for your errors. This also applies to your customers—you must handle their personal information responsibly and professionally, or your company runs the risk of landing in hot water.

Remaining Compliant 

Every employer needs to be aware of the following three practices to avoid breaking any privacy related business laws:

1. Create and enforce a thorough privacy policy. What you do with your customers’ personal information should be clearly stated, and an opt-out policy should be easily accessible, preferably published on your website or readily available at your place of business. Create a policy that lets your customers know you take their privacy seriously. Let them know how you share the information and how they can contact you, should they desire to file a complaint.

2. Properly dispose of employee credit reports. If you run candidate credit reports when considering applicants, it is crucial that you properly handle and dispose of this data. Understanding how to file it, where you should file it, and what you do when you no longer require the information is your responsibility as an employer. 

3. Develop a sound system for keeping record of financial data. Sensitive financial data, whether it be an employee’s bank account number for direct deposit or income information collected from a paying customer, must be safeguarded at all times. Employers must develop safe, secure record-keeping practices to prevent identity theft incidents, which they can be held liable for down the road. 

Staying in line with privacy laws is an essential part of operating a business. If you are an employer who is concerned about your compliance in this area, consult with a competent Arlington Heights business law attorney who can advise and direct you. Contact A. Traub & Associates today at 847-749-4182 for a personal consultation.


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