There’s a new type of credit report for you to worry about.
Well, technically it’s not a credit report, but it is a report.
A report which contains your employment information.
This report includes:
- Names and addresses
- Current and previous employers
- Job titles
- Weekly Income
- Termination records
- Health insurance information
- Dental insurance information
- 401K information
- Whether you’ve ever filed for unemployment
- Whether you’ve ever collected welfare or social security
- And much, much more
Why is this relevant to you?
This isn’t just about a company verifying your previous employment anymore.
Telx has been selling your employment info to Debt collectors, Collection agencies, mortgage companies, banks, credit card companies.
Shouldn’t you have the right to know what is being said about you?
A little background on Telx
The Employment Report was created by The Telx Corporation, which was founded in 1971. Talx’s primary business involved contesting unemployment claims on behalf of employers. (So you know which side of the fence they’re on.) here’s a little article the New York Times wrote about them. (NY Times Article)
During the late 1990s, one of Talx’s clients requested a system which would handle employment and salary verification, The Work Number was born. This system allowed companies to outsource a large portion of their Human Resources Departments into an automated system which would gather employment information on a weekly basis.
The system became so successful that Talx sold it’s employee benefit unit and decided to focus solely on employment data gathering and distribution.
In 2007, Telx was bought by the Equifax credit reporting agency.
Some Interesting Numbers
To date, over 50,000 organizations use The Work Number (www.theworknumber.com) to verify employment data.
As of today, The Work number has over 192 million employment records.
This seems like a big number, but let’s put it in perspective. According to the latest census data; (census data)
- The Population of the US is 313 million
- The Population of the US above the age of 18 is 238 million
- That means that 81% of the people working in America are in the Work Number’s database and have an employment report.
(And we’re not even counting the 40 million adults over the age of 65 which would get the population of the actual US work force down to 198 million.)
Lets just hope that Telx is reporting accurate information.
Oh wait, too late, thousands of complaints of incorrect employment information have already been flooding the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC), a California nonprofit corporation which helps protect consumer privacy and rights.
Unfortunately, this system is far from accurate and it doesn’t seem like the government is even aware of its’ issues. To date, there have been no laws about consumers being able to get a free copy of their employment records to verify accuracy. And even if you pay the $25 to get your report, there is no system in place to challenge the inaccurate information. There is no FCRA protecting your rights, there’s no FACTA to put pressure on Telx to keep their records accurate.
So what can you do?
Call your congressman, and tell him or her that you want legislature protecting your consumer rights from the Telx Corporation’s employment database. And tell others!
Tell your friends, your relatives, and your co-workers. Share this story with them, spread the word because odds are, you’re name is in their database.
And you have the right to know what is being said about you.