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How long is an ex-employer allowed to keep my information on file? Can I force them to remove it?

Discussion in 'Human Resources' started by Onionsayswhat, Jun 20, 2018.

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  1. Onionsayswhat

    Onionsayswhat Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Massachusetts
    Am I able to force an ex-employer to remove my personal info and how many years before I can force them to remove it?

    I am referring to soc sec, name, address etc. I have no retirement money or pensions with any of these companies.

    I have worked for 3-4 companies that use ADP payroll services. My information is still on file w ADP. Some of these companies I have not worked for in over 10 years and others it's been 3 years. I read that according to the Civil Rights Act that employers need to keep an ex-employee's info for 1 year and other sources say 3 years. ADP has told me that they want to keep it longer than 3 years - in-case the ex-employer gets audited and will not tell me how long they intend to keep it.
     
  2. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    There are requirements for how long certain information must be kept. I am not aware of any requirements to remove information after a certain amount of time.
     
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  3. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    There are no maximum laws on when documents MUST be purged. There are laws for minimum time periods that certain records MUST be KEPT. Past that, it is up to the employer's policy. It is very common for employers to keep a basic record forever. You can do nothing to force them to remove that information.
     
  4. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Agreed. What laws there are reflect the minimum time a record must be kept, not a maximum time. The employer is free to keep it as long as they feel necessary. We get requests for record that go much further back than three years.
     
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  5. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    I've been looking for records just this week that go back to the 70s.
     
  6. Onionsayswhat

    Onionsayswhat Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks for the answers. It does not seem right that an employee would have no say in how long their personal data is retained. So then employers keep the employee's information for eternity? So then the have databases full of dead employees? So companies that have been around since 1850 still have all of their dead employee's data on file? Of course, I am being somewhat facetious. But not totally.

    There needs to be a law about this. How arrogant of employers. The ex-employee should have the right to have their info deleted after 3 years. This is not fair to the ex-employees and employers have a responsibility to be sensitive and responsive to ex-employees as far as how long their personal data is kept. It's a security risk. Even the biggest companies w the best security have been hacked. Three companies w my personal data have been hacked. Experian, Blue-cross and one other one. Great - so now all kinds of people could be stealing my identity just cause of the arrogance of the employers. I will be talking to legislatures about this. Meanwhile - I'm also going to see why we are required to list our dates of birth when applying for a job. That's an end-run to be able to age discriminate. We should not have to list our birth dates.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  7. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    As long as your information is protected, why do you care and why do you think it's unfair?
     
  8. Onionsayswhat

    Onionsayswhat Law Topic Starter New Member

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    17 Biggest Data Breaches of the 21st Century

    The 17 biggest data breaches of the 21st century

    Do you read the papers? There is no such thing as a company database that can't be hacked. Every system is vulnerable it does not matter how careful they are and how high-level their security is. Above is just a few examples.

    Here's s few more

    The State Department joins the White House, the United States Postal Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on a growing list of hacked government agencies. Expect to hear of more government networks infiltrated as a Georgia Institute of Technology report on emerging cyber threats in 2015 (pdf) states, “Low-intensity online nation-state conflicts become the rule, not the exception.”

    So you are mistaken about the information being protected.

    Experian was hacked - guess what - they prob got your info too and now you are at risk of having your identity stolen. Experian had data on most Americans and 130,000,000 Americans had their data stolen.

    Also - my health plan was hacked and then one other repository of my personal data was hacked. Do you STILL think my data is protected and that I should not take precautions?

    So you think it's unfair for me to want to have a say in how my own personal data is handled and how long it's kept for? Really?

    Why do I care? BECAUSE IT'S MY PERSONAL DATA!!!!

    Why is it unfair?? BECAUSE IT'S MY DATA AND MY PERSONAL INFO AND THEREFORE I HAVE AN INHERENT RIGHT TO HOW IT'S USED AND MAINTAINED!!

    Those questions you asked are tantamount to asking - why did the founding fathers think we all have inherent rights that we are born with.

    I guess in Russia you don't have these types of rights but what I am talking about here has to do w the inalienable rights all men are born with as outlined in the US Constitution and that were the basis for the founding of the United States of America.
     
  9. Onionsayswhat

    Onionsayswhat Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I reject the notion that because you do not care how your personal info is handled that I therefore have to follow what you think. But thanks anyways!
     
  10. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    Well you're assuming a lot about me but I don't really care what you think. I understand the concern about databases being hacked but I refuse to be paranoid about it and I also reject the notion that businesses need more government intervention in dictating how long they keep records. It may happen eventually, but it's not there yet.
     
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  11. Onionsayswhat

    Onionsayswhat Law Topic Starter New Member

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    If you don't care what I think, why did you ask me? You care.

    So because you want to be careless w your information that somehow obligates me to do as you do? Hardly!

    Wanting to protect my personal info - that has already been hacked 3 times as I told you - is hardly being paranoid but being smart and responsible.

    You're free to not care about your data - as I said that is the basis of the founding of America!

    Do you believe in the Constitution?
     
  12. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    Enough said. Your question has been answered.
     
  13. Onionsayswhat

    Onionsayswhat Law Topic Starter New Member

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    You're the one who questioned me. I was responding to YOU!!

    Enough said by you!
     
  14. Onionsayswhat

    Onionsayswhat Law Topic Starter New Member

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    YOU asked ME a question - your question has been answered!
     
  15. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    There is NOTHING a private website can do to change any laws.

    You can contact your elected legislators (state and federal) to lobby for your concerns.

    This thread is closed....
     
  16. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    So when you're looking for a job and the prospective employer wants to see all your relevant experience, you're good with telling them that you can only provide the last three years worth because all your other records have been deleted? You're not going to object when you don't get that job because the new employer wants five years of experience and you can't prove you've got that much?
     
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