Penalties for violations can be devastating, especially for a small business...For example, HIPAA imposes civil and criminal penalties ranging from $100 to $50,000 per incident...
Sunrise, FL (Vocus/PRWEB) February 23, 2011
We live in an age when privacy is both under attack and protected by law. And employers are no exception, as many of them are struggling to keep up with conflicting employee recordkeeping requirements and employee confidentiality requirements.
Employee Confidentiality Rules, Incidents of Identity Theft, On the Rise
With the passage of the Genetic Nondiscrimination Information Act (GINA) and changes to HIPAA medical privacy standards, employers have increasingly been charged with keeping employee information confidential. A growing identity theft problem also has employers concerned about liability for stolen or misused employee data.
“Penalties for violations can be devastating, especially for a small business,” explained employment law attorney Ashley Kaplan, Esquire. “For example, HIPAA imposes civil and criminal penalties ranging from $100 to $50,000 per incident for failing to comply with its privacy requirements. Intentional violations can lead to fines of up to $250,000 and may even result in imprisonment.”
The Need for Accessible Employee Information Increases
Even in the face of increased privacy standards, the information employers are required to collect and retain about employees continues to increase. Basic employee recordkeeping now mandated by federal, state or local labor laws typically includes:
- Full name
- Emergency contact
- Social Security number
- Date of hire
- Attendance records
- Date of termination
- Job title(s)
- Employee classification (part-time, full-time, contract)
There are also new requirements for collecting information about citizenship or immigration status, medical conditions that fall under ADA or FMLA protection, and other data. And in many cases, the information has to be kept for years after an employee has left the company.
Employers Also Need to Know What Kind of Information They Cannot Collect
With few exceptions, new and existing laws also define types of employee information you cannot legally collect or store, including:
- Political views
- Clubs and social groups
- Family medical history
- Ethnic heritage
- Plans for pregnancy, child care or family size
- Sexual orientation
- Marital status or plans for marriage
Virtual Employee Recordkeeping May Offer Employers the Solution
A secure, online employee recordkeeping website may provide employers a safe and effective way to meet the demand for always-accessible employee data that can be stored for long periods of time without space issues or fear of “wandering eyes” looking into a confidential folder. Secure electronic storage allows employers to segregate basic employee recordkeeping data from more sensitive medical information. And secure, online access means that companies with more than one site can store and access information from a variety of computers using one central account. Electronic storage can also prompt employers for required data, and help to remind them about information they cannot require or store.
How TrackSmart.com Can Help
“We created TrackSmart.com to address the needs of small businesses,” says Brand Evangelist, Helene Kopel. “We saw that traditional employee recordkeeping and attendance tracking could be overwhelming, and we knew there had to be a better way to do it.” TrackSmart.com was the result: a simple, secure, online employee attendance tracking and employee record keeping solution, which does not require any software download beyond basic Microsoft® components you probably already have on your PC.
TrackSmart.com, the newest product from HRdirect is now available in a new expanded release which allows customers to store employee recordkeeping information online as well. The “free and easy” basic version of the online application allows small businesses to record employee attendance information and basic employee information for up to 20 employees.
New low-cost paid options increase the number of employees, and allow for more types of secure, online employee recordkeeping, making information and confidentiality compliance easier. We continue to provide targeted employee attendance advice and information, based upon the types of absences and absence patterns, making it easy for small business owners and managers to address employee attendance problems quickly.
Those who have already registered for the free version can upgrade without losing any of the data they’ve entered so far. New customers can sign up at tracksmart.com
For more than 20 years, HRdirect has been known for its top-selling employee attendance tools, from time sheets to software. HRdirect is part of the Everglades Direct, Inc. family of brands, which also includes G.Neil®, Poster Guard® Compliance Protection, and ComplyRightTM, More than one million U.S. businesses turn to Everglades Direct brands for their human resource products and business compliance expertise. The offices are located in Sunrise, Florida.