Piper Jaffray apologizes to employees for W-2 goof

February 8, 2007

By Nicole Garrison-Sprenger



The W-2s Piper Jaffray sent to current and former employees in January included employees' Social Security numbers on the outside of the envelope.

The numbers were not identified as Social Security numbers, but followed the standard XXX-XX-XXXX format. The incident affected more than the 1,000 employees the company employs today, since about 2,600 people worked for Piper before the sale of its brokerage unit last year.

"At this time we have no indication that the printing error has resulted in any misuse of employee personal information," Todd Firebaugh, chief administrative officer of the Minneapolis-based company, wrote in a letter to Piper employees last week apologizing for the incident.

Executives indicated the mishap was an error by a third-party vendor, the name of which was not disclosed. The mailing didn't involve any customer data.

"We take the security of our employees' personal information very seriously," said Rob Litt, a spokesman for the company. "We are implementing corrective processing changes with our vendors."

The company will offer free 12-month credit monitoring to all employees affected.

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