Keep it secret, keep it safe When it comes to workplace confidentiality, understanding the weight of the situation is crucial. Many wrongly assume that this applies to payroll only insomuch as not revealing who makes how much money and for which jobs, but it actually pertains to all the other sensitive information tied in with these profiles. Every paystub should be considered volatile, as it holds a wealth of private data about that particular employee. Limiting access The Houston Chronicle stated that giving employees access only to the parts of payroll data they need to see is also a critical step in adhering to confidentiality. If too much information is shared openly with workers at all levels, there is an increased risk of a breach through intentional theft or other means. “Take an inventory of personal information in your organization,” advised Bill Nolan, a labor and employment lawyer. “Who has it? Where is it? How do people get it? One thing you’ll see…is that in a lot of these situations, people had data they didn’t need to have, or data was stored in places it didn’t need to be.” Data handling Records of all kinds are currently held and managed by digital systems, necessitating high levels of security from internal and external threats. Companies that are unfamiliar with these practices should familiarize themselves with how data protection guidelines work, and implement compliant systems that do not jeopardize employee files. As the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse wrote, if a worker loses information, either through intentional theft or some sort of accident, this still poses a huge breach of confidentiality. Payroll files are comprised of personal statistics like name, address, date of birth and Social Security number, so misplacing these resources or failing to protect them adequately is a major problem. Maintaining happiness There are some people in the office who may also make more than others for doing the same job, or have been there longer yet still make less than newer hires. Information like this should not be general knowledge, as it can breed dissent among employees. What’s more, if these facts become public information, it may indicate to workers that something more pressing is amiss – an error with payroll software that would allow broadcasting of such data.