paycheck stubs handled outside of human resources

I was recently laid off with severance as my position was eliminated from the company's organizational structure. Working in Information Technology, it is normal procedure to remove an employee on the spot when informing them of their removal or accepting their resignation. This means that the employee does not have a good amount of time to remove personal items from their office. My question is on the handling of paychecks left in the office.

In my situation, there were mutliple pay stubs in my office both opened and unopened but remained in the envelope. These stubs which indicated my salary, social security number, etc were handled by a coworker, passed over to an administrative assistant, and then mailed to my home address with other assortments of personal items. I am concerned about my personal information as well as my salary information and was wondering if this was handled illegally.

I would be interested in consultations but am being conservative with my spending until I find another job.

Thank you,


1 answer  |  asked Oct 26, 2006 1:22 PM [EST]  |  applies to Texas

Answers (1)

Margaret A. Harris
Be Careful of What You Leave in Your Office

I am not aware of any statute the employer violated by allowing two other employees an opportunity to see these salary-related documents.

Your situation does present an opportunity for other readers to learn though that one should always be mindful of what you leave in your work area. That space is the property of your employer; it is not your home. The laws do not provide employees with many privacy rights in a private workplace.

Of course, if you later learn that you have been damaged because the employer was negligent by allowing people who should not have been trusted to gain access to this information, and if the employer should have reasonably anticipated that an employee would have left that kind of information in his or her work area, then you should follow up on this. So, just keep your eyes open for any signs of problems.

posted by Margaret A. Harris  |  Oct 26, 2006 7:03 PM [EST]

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