Saturday, December 7, 2013

AFSCME Files Lawsuit Over Personal Data Theft

The City of Milwaukee contracted with Froedtert Health to manage a wellness program for city employees.  Dynacare Laboratories is a subsidiary of Froedtert.

On October 22nd, an employee of Dynacare had a flash drive with the personal information of 6,000 employees and 3,000 spouses or domestic partners on it.  The employee left the flash drive in her purse which she left in her car.  Her care was stolen.  When the stolen car was found, the purse and it's contents were not recovered.

To make matters worse, Dynacare did not inform the city of the theft until November 15, three and a half weeks after the incident.

The employees have had their safety compromised and their finances put at needless risk. The city and Dynacare has spent the past month pointing their fingers at each other, leaving the workers in the lurch for providing for their own security.

Thus, AFSCME has stepped up and has taken action on behalf of their members:
AFSCME District Council 48 filed a lawsuit today against Froedtert Health over the theft of a flash drive containing the personal information of City of Milwaukee employees on October 22.

District Council 48 filed the suit in Milwaukee County Circuit Court on behalf of its members who are City of Milwaukee employees. The City had contracted with a Froedtert Health subsidiary to provide a wellness program for City employees and then gave Dynacare Laboratories, another Froedtert Health subsidiary, data containing personal information of City employees.

On October 22, a flash drive with the personal information was stolen from a Dynacare employee’s car. District Council 48’s lawsuit seeks monetary damages for its members whose personal information was compromised and who have been injured by Froedtert Health’s failures to safeguard the confidentiality of the data on the flash drive.

Boyd McCamish, the Executive Director of District Council 48, said that the Union’s members were justifiably upset and angry over Froedtert Health’s failure to protect the Union members’ private personal information and over the possible loss of benefits provided to them under the City’s wellness program.

McCamish added that Froedtert Health must be held responsible for its failure to protect the private and personal information of City employees. McCamish said that Froedtert Health must immediately inform credit reporting agencies as required by State law to protect the Union members from the possibility their personal information may be abused because of Froedtert Health’s failure to keep the information confidential.

In a separate action, District Council 48 intends today to file a Notice of Injury and Claim For Damages against the City of Milwaukee, amplifying the Union’s demand for an explanation regarding the City’s involvement in the release of members’ personal information.
It's things like this which makes me shake my head when people claim that unions are obsolete and are no longer needed.

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