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Human Resources/Confidential Documents

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Question
If a company notes, to its employees, in its handbook or verbally that certain information is confidential (such as their salaries and performance reviews) but then such information becomes available on the Internet for the world to access and see, what (if any) recourse does said employee have since that person's information has been leaked (even if inadvertently) for the world to access?

Answer
Privacy rules cover protected information. Protected information is Medical information, Medical treatment, Social security numbers and Home address's and phone numbers. The Medical information is the most important as it is protected under HIPAA. The other information such as social security numbers is protected under the privacy act. There are also different acts in different states.

Here is what the federal act covers under the privacy Act:
https://www.cdt.org/privacy/guide/protect/laws.php

I do not have privacy standards for each state.

Medical information is protected under HIPAA:

http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/summary/

There is a freedom of Information Act which grants freedom of information to the public.

http://foia.state.gov/Learn/FOIA.aspx

Salaries are not protected in fact there is a law that prohibits companies from telling employees they cannot talk to others about their salary.

http://www.shrm.org/TemplatesTools/hrqa/Pages/prohibitdiscussingsalaries.aspx

Shirley

Human Resources

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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR

Expertise

I can answer questions pertaining to Compensation, Health Benefits, Retirement Plans, Payroll,Payroll taxes, Employee selection, Employee Termination, Training, and Employee Incentives. I have offices in U.S., Canada, UK, South Africa,Australia and NZ. I am most confident in the U.S. and Canadian but have knowledge of the internationals. I do not have extensive knowledge of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. I do have some Human Resource Knowledge in those areas. Please do not ask me homework questions, I do not have time to answer them.

Experience

I currently hold both the U.S. and Canadian Payroll Certifications. I currently hold the SHRM PHR certification. I have worked in the Human Resources area with high emphasis on compensation and benefits for 25 years at the same company. My company is an international company and I work with our International offices whenever there is a Human Resource area needing addressed. I volunteer on the American Payroll Association hotline and have for the last 10 years or so. I answer many questions each week for other payroll and HR professionals, mostly on taxes, benefits and compensation issues. I have been the trustee for our 401K plan for Retirement benefits and our 125 Cafeteria Plan for Health Insurance benefits.

Organizations
SHRM, National APA, National DOLEA, State National Mentoring Network I.O.M.A. Advisory Board

Publications
I.O.M.A. BNA

Education/Credentials
Boise State University Human Resource Certificate Program PHR through SHRM CPP through American Payroll Association Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification through Canadian Payroll Association Published writer of Payroll and Benefit articles in a payroll Publication 25 years experience in an International Company

Awards and Honors
Citation of Merit 8 years in a row for hotline service for A.P.A. Honor Award for child mentoring service through RSVP and National Mentoring A "Pat on the Back" award for outstanding leadership as a Youth Group Leader by "The Salvation Army." Runner up for Employee of the Year at my Company twice and Employee of the month 4 times.

Past/Present Clients
I used to answer questions on Ask.com when they had a similar quesition and answer section. I volunteer for APA hotline I also belong to several HR forums when I often answer questions

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