Bill S7202-2013

Bans the use of employer data information

Bans the sale of employment data reports without written consumer consent; provides such employment data reports shall include, but not be limited to, payroll and earnings information, hours worked, consumer history and health insurance information.

Details

Actions

  • May 5, 2014: REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7202

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation to the sale and use of employment information

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Bans the sale of employment information, including payroll and earnings information, hours worked, consumer history and health insurance information.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Amends Section 380-u the general business law, as relettered by chapter 63 of the laws of 2006 is relettered section 380-v, and a new section 380-u is added as follows:

(a) bans the sale of employment information by consumer reporting agencies without written consumer consent in a separate stand-alone document, This section also adds what is included in employment information, such as payroll and earning information, hours an employee has worked, consumer history and health insurance information.

(b) requires that disclosure and consumer consent must be given in a separate, stand-alone document, and the consent is limited to the particular use or transaction for which the consent is given.

(c) charges the Attorney General with the enforcement of this law. This section also includes a civil penalty of 2,000 dollars for each violation of this statute to be imposed on the consumer reporting agencies.

(d) allows for a private cause of action to be commenced by any person inured by the violation of this section.

Section 2: Contains the effective date of the one hundred and eightieth day after it shall have become law.

JUSTIFICATION: The "Work Number" provides employment data reports, and is operated by TALX Corporation, which is owned by the credit reporting agency Equifax. The "Work Number" permits companies to outsource payroll and human resource functions and maintains information on at least 30% of the U.S. working population.

According to an NBC News report, Equifax has been selling employment reports, including detailed health insurance and payroll information, to third parties, such as debt collectors and other financial services corporations. This is an invasion of consumers' and employees' privacy. Moreover, many employees are unaware of this sale of their detailed payroll information to third parties. This legislation would prohibit consumer reporting agencies from selling employment data reports to third parties.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE SATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred and eightieth day after it shall have become a law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7202 IN SENATE May 5, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. SAVINO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to the sale and use of employment information THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 380-u of the general business law, as relettered by chapter 63 of the laws of 2006, is relettered section 380-v and a new section 380-u is added to read as follows: S 380-U. SALE AND USE OF EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION. (A) NO CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCY OR ANY SUBSIDIARY THEREOF SHALL SELL OR RESELL, OR OFFER FOR SALE OR RESALE OR DISTRIBUTE EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION TO ANY PRINCIPAL CREDITOR, AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION SIX HUNDRED OF THIS CHAPTER, OR OTHER DEBT COLLECTOR WITHOUT VERIFYING THAT SUCH SALE, RESALE, OR DISTRIBUTION WAS DISCLOSED TO THE CONSUMER TO WHOM SUCH EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION PERTAINS WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSUMER CONSENT IN A SEPARATE STAND-ALONE DOCUMENT. EMPLOYMENT INFOR- MATION SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, PAYROLL AND EARNINGS INFOR- MATION, HOURS WORKED, CONSUMER HISTORY AND HEALTH INSURANCE INFORMATION. (B) SUCH DISCLOSURE AND CONSUMER CONSENT SHALL BE GIVEN IN A SEPARATE, STAND-ALONE DOCUMENT AND CONSENT SHALL BE LIMITED TO THE PARTICULAR USE OR TRANSACTION FOR WHICH CONSENT IS GIVEN. (C) WHEREVER THERE SHALL BE A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION, AN APPLICA- TION MAY BE MADE BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IN THE NAME OF THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK TO A COURT OR JUSTICE HAVING JURISDICTION BY A SPECIAL PROCEEDING TO ISSUE AN INJUNCTION, AND UPON NOTICE TO THE DEFENDANT OF NOT LESS THAN FIVE DAYS, TO ENJOIN OR RESTRAIN THE CONTIN- UANCE OF SUCH VIOLATION; AND IF IT SHALL APPEAR TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE COURT OR JUSTICE THAT THE DEFENDANT HAS, IN FACT, VIOLATED THIS SECTION, AN INJUNCTION MAY BE ISSUED BY SUCH COURT OR JUSTICE, ENJOINING AND RESTRAINING ANY FURTHER VIOLATION, WITHOUT REQUIRING PROOF THAT ANY PERSON HAS, IN FACT, BEEN INJURED OR DAMAGED THEREBY. IN ANY SUCH PROCEEDING, THE COURT MAY MAKE ALLOWANCES TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH SIX OF SUBDIVISION (A) OF SECTION EIGHTY-THREE
HUNDRED THREE OF THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES, AND DIRECT RESTITU- TION. WHENEVER THE COURT SHALL DETERMINE THAT A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION HAS OCCURRED, THE COURT MAY IMPOSE A CIVIL PENALTY OF NOT MORE THAN TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR EACH VIOLATION. IN CONNECTION WITH ANY SUCH PROPOSED APPLICATION, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS AUTHORIZED TO TAKE PROOF AND MAKE A DETERMINATION OF THE RELEVANT FACTS AND TO ISSUE SUBPOENAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES. (D) IN ADDITION TO ANY RIGHT OF ACTION GRANTED TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, ANY PERSON WHO HAS BEEN INJURED BY REASON OF ANY VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION MAY BRING AN ACTION IN HIS OR HER OWN NAME TO ENJOIN SUCH UNLAWFUL ACT OR PRACTICE, AN ACTION TO RECOVER HIS OR HER ACTUAL DAMAGES OR ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS, WHICHEVER IS GREATER, OR BOTH SUCH ACTIONS. THE COURT MAY, IN ITS DISCRETION, AWARD THE PREVAILING PLAINTIFF IN SUCH ACTION AN ADDITIONAL AWARD NOT TO EXCEED FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS, IF THE COURT FINDS THE DEFENDANT WILLFULLY VIOLATED THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION. THE COURT MAY AWARD REASONABLE ATTORNEYS' FEES TO A PREVAILING PLAINTIFF. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.

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