Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside) announced the passage of legislation in the Assembly which he introduced, (A.6790) that would prohibit consumer reporting agencies from selling employment data reports to third parties without consent. This legislation now awaits approval by the Senate.
According to a recent NBC News report, Equifax sells employment data reports, through its company known as "The Work Number." These reports include an employee's detailed payroll and earning information, hours worked, consumer history and health insurance information, and are being shared with third parties, such as debt collectors and other financial services corporations. The "Work Number" permits companies to outsource payroll and human resource functions and contains 190 million employment records, which includes over 30% of the U.S. working population.
This legislation would prohibit consumer reporting agencies from selling employment data reports to third parties without written consumer consent in a separate stand-alone document. It would also include a civil penalty of $2,000 for each violation, and allow for a private cause of action to be commenced for a violation of this statute.
"The sale of employment data reports is a major violation of privacy and most employees are completely unaware that this is taking place," said Assemblyman Braunstein. "It is outrageous that Equifax is selling information gained from its human resource services to third parties. This legislation sends a message that the privacy rights of hardworking Americans must be respected."