Human Resources News & Insights

New laws make employers protect discarded applications

Several states are enacting laws requiring employers to take more care in how they handle candidates’ applications.

A Connecticut law, for instance, went into effect on October 1. It requires companies to keep employment applications “in a secure setting” and to dispose of them by shredding, or permanently deleting them in the case of electronic records.

Hefty penalties can be imposed — up to $500 for each application that’s lost or stolen and $500,000 for a single “event.”

Several states already have laws that protect employees from identity theft (including a recent bill passed by New York), but this is the first rule that only targets job applications.

Law or no law, keeping applications away from criminals is just good business practice. A Tennessee company recently caught a lot of flak when it left hundreds of job applications sitting in a dumpster. The documents were later used by a theif to rack up credit card debt in the names of nearly 100 people.

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