Mandatory Training, Fines for ID
In the wake of identity theft scandals, two Texas
employers, a healthcare provider and a retailer, have now entered agreements
with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott which require them to undertake
mandatory employee training annually for the next 5 years.
Employees of Radio Shack and Select Medical Texas
L.P. will learn about identity theft, its costs to patients/customers, and the
importance of complying with new document disposal procedures, which were
implemented as part of the agreements. To further ensure compliance with the new
procedures, the two employers must post, at each of their locations, signs
describing the record storage and disposal requirements and maintain
certification records showing each employee's compliance with the training
requirements. Additionally, Radio Shack has also agreed to conduct unannounced
compliance audits at all of its Texas stores at least twice a year.
Select Medical came to the attorney general's
attention after the Levelland Police Department reported that more than 4,000
documents containing customers' sensitive information were found in garbage
containers behind the Levelland office of Select Physical Therapy Texas Limited
Partnership. The state's enforcement action against Radio Shack began when state
investigators learned that the retailer's Portland location exposed thousands of
customers' personal identifying information by dumping sensitive records into a
publicly accessible trash can.
Abbott's office prosecuted the two employers under
the state's Identity Theft Enforcement and Protection Act. As a result of the
prosecution, in addition to the mandatory training, Select Medical agreed to pay
the state $990,000 and Radio Shack, $630,000. After the deduction of attorney's
fees, the remaining sums will be appropriated for the investigation and
prosecution of future identity theft cases.