Cyber-security data breaches are the ultimate invasion of an employee’s privacy. At HKM Employment Attorneys LLP, we are committed to helping victims of employment-related data breaches and have experience in filing data breach class actions on behalf of employees.
Cyber Security Data Breaches of Personal Employee Information
When employers fail to maintain reasonable and adequate security measures to protect their employees’ personal identifying information (“PII”), they risk an attack by cyber criminals. These attacks are on the rise, and employers could be exposing their employees to medical fraud, tax fraud, credit card fraud, and phishing scams.
Cyber criminals are constantly targeting employee data stored by employers that contains sensitive financial and health information. Cyber criminals often will hack into company e-mail and impersonate high level executives within the corporation by sending “phishing” emails to employees of the company. They will request access to confidential and sensitive information or seek the transfer large sums of money from the company. These Business E-mail Compromise Scams (“BEC”) and phishing scams can result in massive losses of sensitive information that cause significant future damage to the company’s employees. As a result, law enforcement and cyber-security professionals consistently warn corporations about these types of cyber threats and provide best practice guidelines and trainings for preventing, detecting, and dealing with cyber-attacks.
W-2 data and employee PII are highly sought after by cyber criminals because the collected information allows for not only identity theft and future financial wrongs, but also fraudulent tax filings under the employee’s name. When cyber criminals obtain this confidential information, it is commonly traded and sold on torrent networks and other unauthorized markets and is often used to commit financial wrongs within hours of the data breach. A data breach of an employer’s systems can cause damage to employees for years after the initial breach. The Federal Bureau of Investigation provides updates and notifications of cyber-security threats including warnings about these exact types of threats. In addition, the United States government and several private security research firms widely distribute reports about new types of malicious cyber-security threats that put employers on notice that they are at risk.
At HKM we are dedicated to protecting employees’ rights. For example, in March 2016, we filed a class action lawsuit against a pharmacy employer on behalf of more than 800 employees who had their information stolen as a result of inadequate security measures by their employer. In April 2016, we filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of more than 1,500 employees where a real estate investment employer failed to prevent a cyber-attack on its employees’ data. We regularly review data breach allegations and are actively investigating reports from employees.
If you have had your W-2 information or PII disclosed to cyber criminals by your employer, contact the attorneys at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP to assist you in navigating your legal rights.