Can my employer withhold benefits enrollment due to my refusal to enroll online because of security concerns?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my employer withhold benefits enrollment due to my refusal to enroll online because of security concerns?

My employer outsources most HR responsibilities. Open enrollment is coming up, and the only way to sign up is through a website. However, the website displays social security and bank account information in clear text. There is also no security regarding passwords, as password resets are sent, in clear text, to email, with no additional identity verification required. I’m concerned about my financial and personal information, and feel like I’m

being forced to choose between compromising that information and giving up benefits. What legal standing do I have to insist on my personal information being handled in a secure, appropriate manner and/or an alternative way of benefit enrollment being provided?

Asked on November 9, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you have no rights in this regard; your employer (and their insurance provider or administrator) can decide how enrollment is handled and you have to comply with what they want. If your information is mishandled AND you suffer some loss or damage (e.g. from identity theft) provably linked to the lack of information security, you may be able to sue for compensation, but that's only if you do in fact suffer a loss linked to this. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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