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Liability For Data Breaches Involving Employee Information

Liability For Data Breaches Involving Employee Information

Even The Federal Government And Third Party Vendors Are Not Immune



The trends in data breaching have risen in the last decade. The breach to personal data ranges from disclosure of private information, cyber-attacks on the public fraternity to the use of personal identifiable information. Hacking of personal social accounts and technological gadgets such as computers and cell phones has been considered a significant threat to the information sector and players. Recently, the federal government has been the target to this menace affecting our contemporary society.

Several organizations have filed suits against the America Federation of Government, Office of Personal Management and Government Solutions for the mishandling of their information. The massive data breach has been noticed by the Office of personal management which is held accountable for the data breach. The plaintiffs have been the prospective employees both former and current who have been and are being affected by the trending menace. The plaintiff intentions are to seek the recovery of damages for the damages that they are suffering as they continue to realize the probabilities of increased suffering in the near prospect.


Costs related

Costs related to breach of personal data

The plaintiff outlines that there are many associated costs that come with the breach of information. These costs are related to detection costs, prevention and recovery from identity theft and unauthorized use of medical and financial accounts. The plaintiff are forced to put up credit monitoring and obtain credit reports as often as possible to ensure they accounts are carefully monitored.

There is also the opportunity costs correlated with putting viable preventive measures to deal with the current information pandemic. More of plaintiff time is also lost in researching the various ways to deal with the situation in the event of breach of data and finding measures to prevent, contest detect and recover from the misuse of identity and healthcare data.

Additional costs that come with dealing with the breach of data include the unavailability of flagged credit, or costs and the complete denial of the use of personal credit. The freezing and the unfreezing of personal credits and all the penalties that result from the unavailability of flagged credit are additional costs to the information breach.

There are also future costs that relates to identifiable information and costs related to the prevention, detection and consternation against the compromised breach of data.


Plaintiff claims

Plaintiff claims

Plaintiff claims for breach of information and data include the violation of the Administrative Procedure Act and Privacy Act by the Office of personal management. The plaintiffs are also suing KeyPoint which is OPM contractor responsible for major background checks for the Office of Personal Management. They claim that KeyPoint owe the plaintiff a duty of care and are not responsible for maintaining and protecting the plaintiff personal identifiable information particularly the Office of Personal Management being the central target for cyber attackers. Nevertheless, there has been no advancement in Plaintiff OPM litigation due to the delayed notification for the occurrence of data breaches. OPM has been held liable since OPM had suspended the disclosing data to the plaintiff despite the existence of data breach a month ago.

So who are held liable for the breach?

The claims by the plaintiffs provide an extensive fetched explanation on those who are to be made responsible for the violation of data. The filfi8ng of the plaintiff openly provide a cautionary tale to the Employees that the entity that is liable in the event of a breach of data include the Employers and the government. Moreover, other third parties that may be involved include the company that is mandated to monitor individual information in this case KeyPoint who serve the Office of Personal Management.

As an aside, thanks for reading this employment law article. It was written to inform and protect small businesses from compliance headaches. With employees, you need quality labor law coverage. If you’re operating from The Bay Area, try these labor law employment posters for full compliance. Their legal team routinely reviews these state and federal labor law posters for total compliance with all the current regulations.



What needs to be done

Sever legislation should be put in place to mitigate against the breach of information. Besides, laws should be put in place to ensure information and notification for the breach of data should be provided to the employee within a specific time frame in cases of a data breach. Employees should also be made aware of laws that deal with handling the breach of data in the event of occurrence of a breach of data.

Companies should also have information security policy in case the States fails to offer security against breach of data. However, there has been a number of state data breach notification laws which provide a safe harbor for employers. These employees comply with the procedure regarding their own information security policies in the event of the breach which have not been helpful in anyway.

Employers should review all their data security measures and those of their vendors to whom they give the mandate to handle their employees’ identifiable information. These reviews assist in the identification and provision preventive measures against hackers to personal information. Companies should also leverage more efforts in protecting employees and consumer information.



This content was provided by Neches FCU, an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer Credit Union.

Neches FCU is a Texas credit union and has a superior team of professionals ready to deliver service their members. When the doors open at any of the 9 service centers, our core objective of “Ultimate Member Satisfaction” becomes the sole focus for every employee. They are well-respected for a personal, dynamic and enthusiastic work atmosphere, providing a memorable service experience, and where clients are known by name. Neches has approximately $438 Million in assets with over 45,000 members. Neches Federal Credit Union is acknowledged by members and the business community as one of the top credit unions in texas and an actively involved partner, helping our Family, Friends and Community!

Provide Employees These 8 Things to Recognize Their Efforts

Give Employees Any of These 8 Things to Show You Care

Many employers try to be creative in the ways they show their appreciation to their employees. Many will give the traditional cash bonus to certain employees who exceed monthly goals, or they will give a company-wide year-end bonus to all of the employees. The problem is that cash bonuses don’t necessarily express an employer’s appreciation for what the employees do for their business. Thankfully for employers, they do not have to spend a lot of money to show how much they appreciate their employees.

Listen to Employees

Listen to Employees

Be Open and Listen to the Employees

Employers should spend some time getting to know their employees because this makes the employees feel like they are important. They should talk one-on-one with the employees and let them know what is going on with the company and where the company is headed. If the employer trusts the employee, they may want to divulge some company secrets to the employee that may help them in advancing their career. The employer should ask their employees about their goals in life and where they see themselves in five or ten years from now.

Compliment workers

Compliment workers

Give Compliments

Giving an employee a compliment can go a long way in showing your appreciation of their work, but employers have to be specific about what they are complimenting them on. Congratulate the employee for a particular job or task that they successfully performed or hold periodic award ceremonies where employees are recognized for their good work. Another thing an employer can do is to provide a good reference letter to an employee who is leaving the company. This can show how valuable the former employee was to the company and gives a good impression about them to the new employer.

Provide Food

People love to eat and one of the ways employers can show their appreciation is to provide food. Boxes of donuts always works, but they should go out of their way to do something special like occasionally have catered lunches or give out gift certificates to nice restaurants. Employers should always celebrate birthdays with cake and other types of food as birthdays are important to many people.

Trust Your Employees

Employers should trust their employees to make the right decisions and give them flexibility in solving problems. People like to be treated as adults and do not like to be micro-managed. Being micro-managed makes people feel like they are incapable of doing the job right. If the employer cannot trust an employee to do the job right then the employer should retrain that employee or have someone else do the job.

Office door open

Office door open

Keep the Door Open

This goes back to getting to know the employees on a personal level. Employers should know the names of as many employees as they can remember, including their nicknames, plus they should know something about their families. They should listen to the recommendations the employees have on trying to improve things within the company, and the employer should solve problems directly instead of always resorting to what company policy says.

Look for Opportunities to Appreciate the Employees

Employees are under a lot of stress to meet quotas and deadlines, so employers should reward them with something relaxing. Casual dress Fridays is a common practice but an employer should show some creativity in this area. Renting massage chairs for the office, hiring a house cleaning service to clean the home of an employee of the month, paying for a car detailing service to clean employees’ cars in the parking lot and allowing some employees to work part time from home are some of the ways employers can provide a relaxing environment for their employees and show their appreciation.

Never forget to acknowledge your employees contribution to your business during the holiday season. Whatever it takes, deliver business holiday cards, work anniversary cards or corporate holiday cards to each staff member on time. It will go a long way to making them feel like a valued part of your team.

Ask for feedback

Ask for feedback

Look for Outside Feedback

What are customers and the competition saying about the company? This is important for an employer to know because these comments may be a reflection on how they treat the employees. Employers should focus on providing a positive work environment that makes employees happy to go to work for them every day.

Be Grateful

Be Grateful

Be Thankful

Productivity tends to go up when employees feel appreciated by their employer, and they do not have to spend a lot of money to show their appreciation. A simple thank you for a specific job done well is usually enough for an employee to feel good about what they have accomplished. Most of all, employers should show respect for their employees regardless of their personal feelings towards the employees.

How To Peddle Your Product… Not Just Promote It

It’s All About The Brand


Build your brand

Build your brand

Email communication is an important part of business these days. The old ways of doing things are slowly fading. You have to keep the public interested in what you are selling. You have to leave them wanting more. If you don’t, your public will go elsewhere.

This is why branding is important. It’s not enough to put your product out there, expecting it to sell. You really have to push your product. It doesn’t matter what it is, the “sell” is where it’s at. There is an old saying, “It only takes five seconds for a person to be interested or not.” It all comes down to this, either there is an interest or there’s not.

To that end, we have some advice for those who are looking to bring more life to their brand/product. Contrary to popular opinion, the magic doesn’t happen in the promoting, it happens in the peddling. You can promote something all you want; but, if you are not peddling your product in the right way, everything will go up in smoke.

Peddling Is The Name Of The Game


Promote your brand

Promote your brand

Most consumers are not interested in flyers or advertising. Companies spend billions every year on advertising. This is a complete waste of time and money. All consumers want is to see the product and any discounts. If you reel someone in with discounts, discounts which no one else is offering, you will have them. They will be hooked.

This is a far cry from how it used to be. What can we say, times are changing. It’s no longer about advertising, it’s only about the discounts being offered with the product. Discounts sell the product. In keeping with this logic, there are a few things we want to show you. There are ways to push something, while still keeping the integrity of the product.

Shine The Spotlight On The Hero


Showcase your brand

Showcase your brand

Apple has a great marketing advantage here. Their one add showcases the product and season. By showcasing the season along with the product, they are cutting right to the point. They do give you the specifics. Those specifics, though, aren’t showcased in some huge detail. They are listed underneath, in small print. They only use minimal words for their explanation.

This is another thing. You really don’t need to go into detail about what your product is and who you are. Just choose a couple of choice words and you are done. Genius, huh!

The trick is to turn the product into the hero, not the details. Once people get hooked on the product, they will familiarize themselves with the details. In this day and age, people don’t want details anyway. This is all part of drawing someone in, in the first 5 seconds. People get bored with words. It’s sad to say, but it’s true.

The Promotional Blitz


Promotional blitz

Promotional blitz

This is the next step. Once you hook the person in, you need a strategy. How are you going to keep the person engaged? You can’t just pull them in, expecting them to be loyal. Promoting a product is like keeping your employees at their jobs. You need to create incentive for your staff to stay. If you don’t, they will walk. We have seen it happen too many times.

When you plan your email promotion blitz, you need to do this carefully. The idea is to keep them interested, not turn them off. Customers lose interest and get annoyed if you suffocate them with emails. They will even disassociate themselves from the product. Can you blame them?

Plan something around the seasons. Like computers, the best time to advertise good deals is during back-to-school. Moms and kids are always looking for computers during this time. It’s a necessity for some. Use this to your advantage.

Tell your customers that if they buy now, they can use this coupon. Then email them the coupon. There is another way to do this too. What if you are planning a sales event? There is a strategy for this.

The first emails could advertise your product at full price, with some kind of coupon. The emails that follow could advertise more sales, each one being more aggressive then the last.

Establish Some Rules


Promotional Strategies

Promotional Strategies

Not all of your products will be for everyone. Use this to establish some sort of categorical list. Promote certain products for their desired audience. If you have two or three products for kids ages 13-20, use this for your promotion. Your email blitz should be geared towards those age groups.

You can’t expect to sell something for 20 something’s in the adolescent age groups. Prepare yourself financially for the different groups. Each group should have their own email promotion. In each age group, talk about the consumer first. You are supposed to speak to the person, not the product. You are selling the product to the person. Your advertising should do just that.

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This insightful HR content was provided courtesy of Tracksmart, a technology leader that offers empowering apps for small & growing businesses.

Take a moment and think about how you manage your staff’s attendance challenges, PTO management and vacation accrual. What’s your preferred strategy? Is using time and attendance tracking software? What about paper products you’ve been using for years? Is there someone you’ve delegated your HR tasks to outside of the office? With the routine hassles of running a business, entrepreneurs are beginning to use attendance tracking software to simplify much of the ongoing chores involved in dealing with staff time tracking management.

Leave a comment below to let us know please.

Brand New Requirements for NY Tax Pros This Season

New Requirements for New York Tax Professionals


A commercial tax return professional in the state of New York cements his or her status by performing a medley of duties, including preparing more than ten tax returns in New York during 2014 and is expected to prepare at least one return in 2015 as well as is paid to prepared less than ten tax returns in New York during 2014 and is expected to be paid for preparing ten or more returns in 2015.

Tax Professional

Tax Professional


All commercial preparers are required to comply with the required education standards to maintain the registration certificate for continuous preparation of income tax returns in New York.

A person who is not a commercial preparer but would like to acquire the necessary certification to prepare personal income tax returns must complete these requirements of their own accord as well.

New York Continuing Education

As part of the efforts for facilitating the certification of tax preparers, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has launched a continuing education program. The training program in its first stage deals with the registration process. The program began in 2010 and affects 40,000 professionals annually. Moreover, about 70 percent of the 10 million individual tax returns prepared in the state are executed by professionals.

Tax Education

Tax Education


The program endeavors to ensure that these tax professionals are adequately trained to handle new developments and legal requirements in the industry. This is done in part for consumers’ protection interests with the idea of enhancing the overall standards of the tax preparation industry. This, ultimately, helps to protect citizens from misrepresentations, errors and potential fraud.

Tax professionals shape the livelihoods of their client significantly because accurate tax returns are required for accessing many financial products and services that may include home mortgages and financial estate planning.

Training Hours Required

Tax professionals who have completed 10 or more New York State personal income tax returns a year are considered of the standard and are required to complete continuing education requirements. Four hours of training is required for experienced commercial preparers and 16 hours for new professionals.

CPAs and affiliated professionals are regulated by guidelines and provisions established by the U.S. Treasury Department. Therefore, they are not required to be certified by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance as well are not bound to fulfill the continuing education mandates.

Training hours

Training hours


In general, all the other paid tax preparers inclusive of those employed by tax preparation companies are required to register with New York State. The New York Tax Department has posted on its website the registration procedures and subsequent requirements at

A searchable database has been created by the tax department to confirm that a tax preparer is registered with the department as well as to locate registered preparers with an interactive map. Besides New York, three other states regulate tax preparers, including California, Oregon and Maryland.

Federal Education Programs

The Internal Revenue Service had tried to mandate continuing education and testing of tax preparers on a national basis. But the federal courts ruled against it as it felt the IRS had transgressed its jurisdiction in attempting to impose such measures. The IRS lost a subsequent appeal, and thus has initiated a voluntary testing and continuing education program known as the Annual Filing Season Program.

For New York State prepares, completing the IRS course does not translate into credentials for the the New York statutes. Though the IRS course is important because it focuses on the preparation of the federal return that forms the basis for New York state return, there are distinct differences that local preparers must receive education regarding.

Federal Tax Education

Federal Tax Education


New York Requirements

Commercial tax preparers who have executed 10 or more New York State personal income tax returns from 2011 to 2013, must complete four hours of continuing education coursework by the end of December 2015. Part of this education should be on how to file 1099 online, as well w-2 forms. Traditional paper filings are typically covered in all training, but e-filing is not typically in the curriculum.

For those wanting an easy way introduction to e-filing and how to use the process to streamline tax preparation, check one of the industry leaders at Whether you use them or not to efile 1099 is not the point. They are an industry benchmark in terms of their service delivery, data security, and they fact that they are set up to connect seamlessly with all the major accounting and bookkeeping software brands. They’re not just a trusted brand by businesses, they’re respected by other brands who lead the industry.

For those who have prepared less than 10 New York State personal Income Tax returns from 2011 to 2013, they must complete 16 hours of continuing education coursework by the end of December 2015 as well as four hours of continuing education coursework in subsequent years. All commercial preparers are required to pass a competency examination by December 31, 2017. Further information about the exam will be available in March 2015.

Enrollment Procedures

Practitioners should employ the Statewide Learning Management System (SLMS) for completing the enroll process to the required classes. The course may be taken by attending a class in-person or online. Moreover, all classes are completely free. Stop by our Scoop.IT page, and post your comments or resource links to debate this matter further.

Simple Points You Should Know When Using HCFA CMS 1500 Form

What is a CMS 1500?

There are countless forms used in a medical billing office. Numerous Medicaid State Agencies require this form to process billing.

Medication covered by insurance means filing a CMS 1500 form

Medication covered by insurance means filing a CMS 1500 form

The Cms 1500 version 02/12 Billing Form is generally used doc filed for payment requests. At first, it was named HCFA 1500. Shortly afterward, it was changed to the CMS 1500 form. Its name revision came from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Only in the medical field…

This document is usually used by healthcare establishments. Generally, you must submit a form with the payer inside of a year of providing a service.  The technology used to scan the filled in forms at payer’s offices is called OCR.

Garbage in, garbage out…

If the form is not up to par, it won’t be read clearly. Photocopying the form is not recommended, as it’s printed using a specific type of ink. Successful form submissions result IF you use the exact form, with the right info.

Two keys that ensure safeguard submissions follow:

  • First, use the most current document.
  • Second, verify that the ink is the right quality.

Fail to prepare, and you should prepare to fail.

Not using the correct form typically leads to rejections. On top of this, waiting too long to re-submit a 1500 Claim Form may lead to no reimbursement. The result of these efforts is a stream on timely insurance repayments. Have ideas on this topic? Please visit our WordPress page and post your comments or recommend other resources to discuss this concept.