On January 3, 2009, recent amendments to the New York Labor Law took effect that prohibit employers from using and disseminating certain personal information concerning its employees. Specifically:  

  • New York employers may not visibly print an employee’s social security number (SSN) on any identification badge, including time cards;
  • New York employers may not publicly post an employee’s SSN;
  • New York employers may not place an employee’s SSN in files with unrestricted access;
  • New York employers may not communicate to the general public: an employee’s SSN, home address, home telephone number, personal email address, internet identification name or password, parent’s maiden name, or driver’s license number; and
  • SSNs may not be used as an identification number for purposes of occupational licensing.  

The Commissioner of Labor may assess a civil penalty of up to $500 for any “knowing violations” of this section; failure to advise employees of this law, and failure to establish procedures or policies to safeguard against such violations, provide “presumptive evidence” of a “knowing violation” of this law.