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Disney Workers File Lawsuit Over Employee Privacy--Identity Theft Risk

May 16, 2011

In a recent lawsuit that our Orange County, California labor and employment attorneys have been watching, two employees from Walt Disney Co. have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, claiming that the employee identification cards that they are forced to use expose them to the a lack of privacy, and a threat of identity theft.

The ID cards issued to Walt Disney employees are reportedly encoded with bar codes containing Social Security numbers that according to the lawsuit, violate California law. The Disney workers claim that the employee card codes can be read by most mobile phones, which puts employees at risk for identity theft.

The lawsuit reportedly hopes to include over 21,000 current and former employees at the Disneyland resort in Orange County that were issued these identification cards since 2007, but the employment lawsuit could also extend to more California Disney employees that could number in the thousands.

The employees reportedly use the ID cards for every identification-related feature, including gaining access to restricted employee areas and clocking in and out of work. The cards also must be presented to any security staff if requested. The Social Security issue was reportedly discovered after a security officer at Disney realized that any bar code scanner could read the bar codes containing individual Social Security numbers.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego, California law clearly states that it is illegal for employers to print Social Security numbers on individual identification cards, but the law isn't clear about bar codes that have social security numbers embedded in them. The plaintiffs claim that the use of the card violates privacy guaranteed by the California state Constitution, because employees have a reasonable expectation of employment privacy, and have the right to not to disclose any of their personal information.

Disney ID cards risk identity theft, violate employee privacy, suit says, Thomson Reuters, May 17, 2011

Disney workers sue over ID-risk threat, The Orange County Register, February 22, 2011

Related Web Resources:

California Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC)

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