Maloney Seeks Data Theft Protection, Family Leave Extension
The Queens/Manhattan lawmaker also announced that she has filed a measure to extend the family leave act.
Maloney (D) reported that the House expects to consider a data security bill in the next few weeks which would weaken consumers' protection against identity theft, but she said she will work to protect Americans' ability to control access to their credit reports and, if possible, expand it. Toward this end, she will offer an amendment to make sure this vital tool to prevent identity theft, which exists under a New York State law, continues to be available.
"In this age of electronic commerce and banking, consumers need all available tools at their disposal to fend off identity thieves," Maloney said. "It would be foolish not to give this tool to every American, and it would be downright absurd to roll back the protection that the residents of 18 states-including New York-have right now. Everyone should have control of the personal data in their credit reports to prevent identity theft."
That tool is the ability to "freeze" personal data to prevent it getting into the wrong hands, the lawmaker explained.
Under a bill which the House may consider, which has been reported out of the Financial Services Committee, people would be allowed to freeze their credit reports only after they have been victims of identity theft, she explained. This would pre-empt consumers' right to freeze their files at any time, she noted. The House might also consider a bill that leaves the state regulations untouched, or it could consider hybrid legislation.
If the file freeze language which allows this tool to be used only after a person becomes an identity theft victim comes to the floor of the House, Maloney said she will offer the amendment to uphold current state laws.
Maloney has also introduced a bill which would grant all Americans the ability to freeze their credit reports.
The landmark Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which has already permitted more than 50 million Americans to temporarily leave work to care for their families, was signed into law 13 years ago.
Maloney's bill to expand the statute would start a grant initiative to create programs to offer six weeks of partial or full paid leave, she explained. It would cover employers with 25 or more workers, would allow family leave to be used to address the effects of family violence, and would allow employees to take up to 24 hours each year to participate in their children's school activities.
Currently, the FMLA allows for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for employees to care for a newborn or a sick family member.
"The FMLA is one of the great pieces of legislation passed by Congress in the past couple of decades-it is the embodiment of 'family values'" Maloney stated. "It's important that we continue to make our workplaces as family friendly as possible.
"This legislation would help create stronger families and would help businesses by increasing worker satisfaction."