You’ve heard about shredding. You understand that it’s probably a good idea to shred any receipts that have your credit card numbers or other personal information on them to stop identity theft.
You may have seen shredders at the office or noticed bulging trash bags of thin paper strips in the dumpster when you’re walking the dog past a local business at night.
But now there’s a law with a provision going into effect this summer that says if you employ even one person – a nanny, a yard man – and you have their personal information because you’re doing the right thing and paying Social Security taxes, you have to “destroy” the information before you throw it away.
You have to shred it or burn it or pulverize it. Or you could get sued. Or fined. Or become part of a class-action lawsuit by enraged nannies whose personal information has somehow gotten out.
Identity theft is on the rise so why shouldn’t your employees expect to be protected by their employer. The law is on their side. You must shred everything that has any personal information on it.
Think about it…you don’t want your medical records out there for anyone to see. It’s the same thing. That HIPAA form you sign every time you go to the doctor offers you the privacy you’d expect from the medical industry. They are required to shred even a phone message with your name on it!
The consumer protection laws work in the same way. No one has the right to put you at risk for identity theft. So protect yourself, your employees and your clients by shredding everything. When in doubt shred it!