Tag Archive: Employers

Protecting Your Employees Against Identity Theft

Protecting Your Employees Against Identity Theft
As more and more Americans are becoming victims of identity theft, many employers are increasing their level of security to protect their employees. A recent General Accounting Office report estimates that as many as 750,000 Americans are victims of identity theft every year. So, what can you do to protect your employees? Here are some ideas.

Employee files
HR (Human Resources) professionals will generally have a set of standard operating procedures when dealing with employee information. Make sure employee files, both active and terminated, are under lock and key. More importantly, make sure that only the Human Resources office has access to this key. In normal cases, the Human Resources office will be the only department who has any reason to access the employee files.

Information Release
Unless an officer of the court provides you with a subpoena, your company should have a strict policy not to ever release employee information to any individual except the employee him/herself.

Clean Desk Rule
Does your company have a clean desk rule? If not, you’d better make sure one is instituted. This rule ensures that any employee who deals with any type of sensitive employee data clears their desk and files and that this information is under lock and key whenever they leave their workstation. Many financial and housing institutions already practice this rule.

Social Security Masking
In the past, entire social security numbers were used to identify an employee. With the increase in identity theft, (and the methods by which thieves acquire this information), employers are now using number masks. In other words, instead of identifying John Doe as 123-00-4567, he is now identified as Doe XXX-XX-4567. This is what is used when sending information via mail or email and has dramatically helped employers reduce identity theft.

Use It Then Lose It
After an employee processes data containing sensitive information, and if it is not required to be refilled, information should be destroyed. A common paper shredder can be purchased for about $50.00 at any office supply store and can be another weapon in your arsenal to protect your employees. Documents should be shredded either immediately after use or at the very least, the same day before the end of the work day. This avoids storing hundreds of documents that can cause your employees’ information to be stolen.

Identity theft causes months of grief and potentially thousands of dollars to fix. It’s up to employers to do their part in protecting them at the workplace. For more information, contact your Human Resources office or visit the social security administrations website at http://www.ssa.gov/

Is Your Small Business Unlikely to Hire Muslims

Is Your Small Business Unlikely to Hire Muslims
Research conducted at Davenport University by Murad Ali indicates that Muslims are the least likely out of all other ethnic groups to be hired by employers. Participants were students enrolled in either the MBA program or in business undergraduate courses. The type of full-time work the students engaged in ranged from entry level to senior executive. Many of the MBA students were already managers and had hiring powers within their companies.
Participants ranked their desired applicants for positions based upon their own preconceived notions from 1-5. A ranking of 1 meant that the applicant was most desirable and a ranking of 5 meant that the applicant was least desirable. All of the applicants were considered to be equally qualified and all of them were male. The only difference between the applicants was there name. Robert Schwalbach (White), Tyrone Johnson (Black), Yan Chin (Asian), Pedro Gonzalez (Hispanic) and Ahmed Al-Arabi (Muslim) were used to represent the different races and ethnic groups.
The results of the study indicated that the following order of preference was as follows African American, Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic and Muslim. African Americans were more likely to be called back for employment while Muslims were the least. The data was split into similar groups with African Americans, Caucasians, and Asians on the far left with Hispanics and Muslims on the far right. Data indicating which background the participants came from wasn’t collected.
It is interesting to note that those people who are considered “main stream” or who have been in the country for some time were all very similar in their rankings. Hispanic and Muslims who are seen as newer immigrants were stratified as the least likely to be hired. In essence this means that immigrants are not considered to have the same desirability to employers as “main stream Americans”. It is therefore possible that poverty, unemployment and lack of healthcare may be something imposed on this group than by personal choice.
Employers should be aware of the results of this study because it has an impact with their compliance to the Civil Rights Act. As Muslims become more aware of their rights in the workplace employers may have more lawsuits to deal with. If the hiring managers allow their personal preferences to determine who they are going to hire, instead of most qualified, the bottom line of the company may be affected.