Q: My social security number was shared to over 350 employees in an email without my knowledge or consent. What can I do?
I work for a federal government agency (Org A), while representing and employed through Org A, I assisted a separate federal government agency (Org B) on a project. For my contributions upon completion of the project, Org B gave me a small monetary award. After a long 2-year HR process between Org A and Org B of deciding how to provide this award to me, Org B needed to confirm with Org A that I was indeed still the same employee who assisted them with the project. In doing so an HR rep from Org B sent an email out to over 350 employees at Org A with the subject line "Award" which in it contained my social security number and several other pieces of my personal information. This occurred in 2012 and ever since this date, I have been victim to several cases of identity theft each year and incidents continue to increase. I've documented the 3 most recent cases of theft which occurred on all 3 of my credit and debit accounts along with someone trying to file for financial aid with my info.
A: I'm very sorry that this happened. You should understand, though, that no matter how jarring or tortious an act may be that certain strict time limits apply. I believe that your factual scenario may touch upon two areas of the law - the first is state tort law and the second is federal employment rights. If I were you, I'd look for attorneys that focus on the latter because there are probably certain nooks and crannies to your particular case that a state tort attorney may pass over.
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