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Ohio Official Docked Vacation Time For Stolen Tape

samzenpus posted about 7 years ago | from the no-beach-for-you dept.

Security 218

Lucas123 writes "The missing tape, stolen from an intern's car, contained data on all 64,467 state employees, 19,388 former employees and 47,245 Ohio taxpayers. The state believes the incident will cost them $3 million. So after four months of deliberation, the Ohio Department of Administrative Services announced today that they decided to take a week's vacation away from Jerry Miller, their payroll team leader and the guy in charge of the missing data."

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What's that in private sector terms? (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 7 years ago | (#20937317)

That's like what? 2, 3 hours of coffee breaks in the private sector?

Re:What's that in private sector terms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20937357)

If that. Im guessing its time that he would spend in the toilet with a newspaper every couple of days

Re:What's that in private sector terms? (4, Informative)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about 7 years ago | (#20937469)

Depends on on your level in the organization. If you do this and you're just a peon, you get fired. If you do this and you're the CEO, then a department gets axed and bunch of peons get fired, you retire with a several million dollar golden parachute and stock options.

Re:What's that in private sector terms? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20938043)

Depends on which place it is.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4512962.stm [bbc.co.uk]

As far as I know, the person who sold 65,000 shares at 1 yen each rather than 1 share at 65,000 yen was just reprimanded, and rather new as well.

Re:What's that in private sector terms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20938071)

As far as I know, the person who sold 65,000 shares at 1 yen each rather than 1 share at 65,000 yen was just reprimanded, and rather new as well.
Any system that lets a flaw of that magnitude- which has the potential to do as much damage as it did- through, is badly-designed, and the person in question can hardly be held solely responsible; in fact, I'd say that the vast majority of the blame lies elsewhere.

I note that according to the article, a Japanese economist also questions the lack of safeguards.

Re:What's that in private sector terms? (2, Funny)

August_zero (654282) | about 7 years ago | (#20937645)

The terrible truth is, that after the data was lost, they were not sure how much vacation time anyone still had but they were pretty sure he had a lot of it so he was probably burned.

That will teach him next time.

So his salary must be... (5, Funny)

patman600 (669121) | about 7 years ago | (#20937339)

So, if this cost them $3 million, and they took a week's vacation away, his yearly salary must be $156 million. I think I know where I should be looking for a job now.

Re:So his salary must be... (2, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | about 7 years ago | (#20937523)

So, if this cost them $3 million, and they took a week's vacation away, his yearly salary must be $156 million. I think I know where I should be looking for a job now.

I wouldn't be so sure. It took them four months of deliberation to make that determination. From that, I'm guessing they're using some kind of magic-8-ball-fueled-fractal-algorithm to come up with these figures, which means you very well could end up earning a salary in turkish lire, if you're not careful.

Re:So his salary must be... (2, Informative)

MrMr (219533) | about 7 years ago | (#20937589)

I would settle for 3 million turkish lira a year...

http://finance.yahoo.com/currency/convert?amt=3000000&from=TRY&to=USD&submit=Convert [yahoo.com]

Re:So his salary must be... (1)

psmears (629712) | about 7 years ago | (#20937919)

Yeah, they revalued the lira in 2005.

Turkish Millionaire (2, Funny)

Night Goat (18437) | about 7 years ago | (#20938189)

No wonder they haven't done "Who Wants To Be A Turkish Millionaire" on Howard Stern lately!

Re:So his salary must be... (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 7 years ago | (#20937957)

The New Turkish Lira or the Old Turkish Lira? :P

Re:So his salary must be... (2, Funny)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | about 7 years ago | (#20938137)

I don't know [flies up in the air] Aaaaaargh!

Re:So his salary must be... (3, Funny)

ragefan (267937) | about 7 years ago | (#20938369)

The New Turkish Lira or the Old Turkish Lira? :P
That's nobody's business but the Turks!

Re:So his salary must be... (5, Funny)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 7 years ago | (#20937613)

which means you very well could end up earning a salary in turkish lire, if you're not careful

Or worse, US Dollars...

Re:So his salary must be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20937643)

Actually its because of the 3 million it cost them, all but $10 (the price of a blank tape) were the legal fees for the 4 month trial and deliberation, as well as spin coverage and PR relating to the case. Bureaucracy killed the economy.

Re:So his salary must be... (1)

catch23 (97972) | about 7 years ago | (#20937823)

I guess he's still not important enough. Extremely important people like CEOs typically are asked to retire early with a 50 million dollar paycheck when they do a bad job.

Isn't.. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20937379)

Isn't the company responsible for negligence carried out by an employee in the course of his duties...

Re:Isn't.. (5, Informative)

baileydau (1037622) | about 7 years ago | (#20937649)

Isn't the company responsible for negligence carried out by an employee in the course of his duties...


Yes they are ... That is with respect to any external parties that may have been harmed.

Even though the company is liable for any negligence, they have the option of internal sanctions against any negligent employee.

That's why he only got docked 1 weeks holiday, not the entire $3M

Re:Isn't.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20938211)

On some levels, but it depends entirely on a) the degree of the negligence and b) whether the negligence crosses over into criminal law. For instance, a bus driver runs over a pedestrian - he's still responsible for culpable driving - the worst the company is responsible for is him not being trained properly. (Actually, that would be his license issuer, and only if you could proved he was improperly trained - rather than just incompetent).

In a case like this, if he followed correct handling procedure - the employer is liable. It's likely though that under "transportation of data" there isn't a paragraph covering "leaving your data in an intern's car", meaning he made a judgement call of his own - a bad one - meaning the employer has nothing to do with it. We have to make decisions like this every day in jobs and in the corporate world there can be large consequences for such decisions. The key to success in such areas is, don't be an idiot. Yes - there is a reason why corporations require candidates to have degrees for even the most menial positions.

Of course, this'll be -trolled.. Nobody likes having to face up to that regular people, not only companies/politicians/lawyers, make mistakes..

The guy's Union Boss says... (-1, Troll)

SpzToid (869795) | about 7 years ago | (#20937413)

A third party brought in from Ohio's Office of Collective Bargaining investigated the incident and recommended the penalty, Sylvester said.

"The next time the state takes on a project of this scope, we're going to have people on the job whose major responsibility is just data security," he added.


Looks like the Union is staffing IT security now. Someone should apply.

Re:The guy's Union Boss says... (5, Funny)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 7 years ago | (#20938135)

Looks like the Union is staffing IT security now.
Who was doing it before, the Confederacy?

The guy's damn lucky. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20937415)

Imagine what would have happened to him if he'd been busted sharing a couple of dozen copyrighted songs online. Probably would've had his sick-leave cancelled too.

Re:The guy's damn lucky. (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 7 years ago | (#20937661)

That's terrible, next time he gets the flu he'll be forced to come into the office and infect everybody there...

Is that all they are going to do? (5, Insightful)

MadJo (674225) | about 7 years ago | (#20937425)

Take away 1 week of vacation time?
If I screw up that bad at my work, I'd be facing a discharge...

Re:Is that all they are going to do? (5, Insightful)

ritesonline (1155575) | about 7 years ago | (#20937667)

What more do you want?

Sounds like the guy's a long timer who was doing his job and now has to carry the can to protect his pension.

From the article: "The tape was pilfered in June from the car of an intern responsible for carrying data used by the Ohio state government's computer systems...described Miller as a "stellar longtime DAS employee" and said he has been forthright in acknowledging his role in the "management glitch" pertaining to the stolen backup tape."

This wasn't some guy who took a company laptop home to play games, it was his responsibility and no extra security was provided for him to do his job. Would you like everyone else robbed at work to forfeit leave or be sacked? The "management glitch" is probably that his bosses wouldn't stump up for secure transport of the tapes.

Re:Is that all they are going to do? (2, Funny)

bronney (638318) | about 7 years ago | (#20937707)

If I screw up that bad at my work, I'd also be facing a discharge...

Re:Is that all they are going to do? (2, Funny)

ritesonline (1155575) | about 7 years ago | (#20937773)

If you've got problems with a discharge then you should probably change your medication.

Re:Is that all they are going to do? (1)

bronney (638318) | about 7 years ago | (#20937811)

I would if I could, but the discharge belongs to someone else and I am the only one facing it.

Re:Is that all they are going to do? (1)

ritesonline (1155575) | about 7 years ago | (#20937841)

Brings a whole new meaning to 'computer virus'!

Re:Is that all they are going to do? (1)

MadJo (674225) | about 7 years ago | (#20938075)

Euhm, what exactly do you mean?
Did I make a mistake in language? (I'm Dutch, English is not my first language)

What I meant was that I'd probably be fired.

If they would take away 1 week of vacation time, I wouldn't feel it. I have enough vacation time left, and no way of taking any vacation. (I have almost more work to do than time to do it in, for the next few months)

Re:Is that all they are going to do? (0, Offtopic)

David_W (35680) | about 7 years ago | (#20938421)

Did I make a mistake in language?

No, your terms were correct. He was making a pun. Think of how the term "discharge" could be applied to the male sex organ and you'll get it.

Re:Is that all they are going to do? (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 years ago | (#20937753)

You, me, pretty much everyone in the private sector, I'd say.

But hey, that guy just lost data, not something important. Considering the way our other officials hand out our data like candy, that blunder is just a nuisance because, well, the general population got to know about it. So they had to do something about it.

Think Sony and rootkit.

Re:Is that all they are going to do? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20937821)

If I screw up that bad at my work, I'd be facing a discharge...
in the face, by a bunch of strange men.

Oh wait, you don't work in Japanese Porn?

Re:Is that all they are going to do? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 7 years ago | (#20938033)

You might be, but if you were a long time, valuable employee with a great deal of corporate knowledge, and it was determined that you were not necessarily given all the tools to carry out your job, you'd probably get something like this to. Especially if you owned up to it and helped to try and get things back on track. People screw stuff up all the time - often to the tune of 6 and 7 figures in total effect on a large (i.e. billion $) organization. The need for retribution is often tempered by the reality of replacing a valuable employee. If you don't understand that, you've never been in management (and probably shouldn't be).

Re:Is that all they are going to do? (0, Offtopic)

Nimey (114278) | about 7 years ago | (#20938215)

What kind of discharge, yellowish-white? ;-)

sue them!!! (1)

blowtorch (1092271) | about 7 years ago | (#20937435)

I smell lawsuits!

I bet those judging him (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | about 7 years ago | (#20937449)

would feel a bit differently if they are one of those who will get victimized (ID theft for one) as a consequence of this slip up. It may yet happen.

Re:I bet those judging him (2, Insightful)

diggsIt (987979) | about 7 years ago | (#20938353)

My information was on that tape, and yes I do feel differently about it. The State of Ohio has provided a credit authorization service for one year. After that, I'll have to pay for it. It won't be long before almost everyone is compromised. The more the better as far as I'm concerned. Congress will only take appropriate action when enough people have been burned. I should be able to freeze my credit without paying for the priveledge. The Credit Industry makes the rules. Congress takes their money and looks the other way. State government workers shouldn't be allowed to have computers. They're just too damn stupid and/or lazy.

Wrong punishment (2, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | about 7 years ago | (#20937461)

Tired and stressed people make more mistakes. Without vacation he will make more mistakes.

Re:Wrong punishment (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 7 years ago | (#20937473)

Without vacation he will make more mistakes

It's okay. He's from the government.

Re:Wrong punishment (2, Interesting)

Durrok (912509) | about 7 years ago | (#20938067)

My father works for Heidelberg (Big printing press company) and does copier repair. When he installs a new copier at a government facility he has to be sure to arrange it so he is done before noon because the managers at the site will usually tell him "Oh it's after lunch, our employees are tired. Come back tomorrow." Everyone is usually playing solitaire or hanging out by the water cooler. You wonder why government projects take so long and usually go over budget..

Re:Wrong punishment (2, Insightful)

mgblst (80109) | about 7 years ago | (#20937495)

Yeah, but this guy isn't making mistakes because he is tired or stressed. His problem is pure incompetence. It is not like he can be more incompetent, because he didn't get enough rest.

This is a joke, and a big problem in our society. Incompetence is rarely punished, something that you see all the time in the political world.

Re:Wrong punishment (0)

kmac06 (608921) | about 7 years ago | (#20937843)

Incompetence is rarely punished in government bureaucracy

Fixed that for you. Seriously, this is the number one reason (in my opinion) why government should be small, and not controlling every aspect of our lives, e.g. health care.

If his incompetence is causing expensive mistakes (1)

stomv (80392) | about 7 years ago | (#20937937)

the last thing they want is for him to be showing up to work more often.

Re:Wrong punishment (4, Insightful)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 7 years ago | (#20938083)

This guy didn't make a mistake at all. He was following orders. The ones that made the mistake were the ones that told him to take the tapes home.

Re:Wrong punishment (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | about 7 years ago | (#20938255)

Without more information it's hard to say exactly what happened. I could just picture this guy having "transport backup tape to offsite storage on your way from home" as part of his job duties. I used to do that for a company I worked for. I threw the tapes in my passenger seat and drove to the other location and dropped them off at the other office on my way home.

I could REALLY see how if I, say, stopped at a gas station on the way between the two to get gas and a galon of milk as I do sometimes on my way home. I leave the truck locked even when walking into the quick-e-mart for a minute to get the milk and pay for the gas, but even with that it's possible someone could break into my truck and steal anything that was convenient for a "smash and grab". There's nothing else in my truck that's not nailed down that would make an attractive item to quick grab, so those tapes would probably get snatched for lack of anything else to show for the theft.

I would not want major sanctions for being a victim of that theft, and arguably there's not much more you could have expected of me.

Do not hold the peon responsible for the company's unwillingness to provide appropriate security and to place a potentially very big onus on one lone employee, in the interest of saving a few bucks. VERY few businesses are willing to provide adequate protection under such circumstances. Mostly only those that are required to do so by law or agreement. (banks, companies handling credit card numbers, etc)

Now in such a situation, had I not even bothred to lock the truck, that doesn't make the theft any more legal, and unless there were some company policies in place saying "employees transporting backup tapes must leave their vehicle secured whenever unattended" (which until this happens once, you can bet the policy does not exist) then even in that case the employee should bear no additional responsibility,

Re:Wrong punishment (1)

blowtorch (1092271) | about 7 years ago | (#20937497)

They cut a week. So now (s)he's down to what, three weeks? Big deal... most people don't get even that.

Re:Wrong punishment (1)

FredDC (1048502) | about 7 years ago | (#20937673)

If anything, they should give him more vacation!

If he screws up this badly, more work (and more opportunities to screw up) is the last thing you wanna give him IMHO...

Let's torture him next! (2, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | about 7 years ago | (#20937489)

But of course, it's all about the revenge. Water droplets? Arm/leg twister? Acid (.. music)? Tazers! It sure will help with the lost records!

From personal experience, trying to do more work and cut off your vacation is the most sure-fire way to bring your work quality and productivity down.

Are they trying to set him up to lose another tape?

Re:Let's torture him next! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 years ago | (#20937767)

I don't care what happens to the guy. I care what happens to the data. While torture is entertaining, it rarely if ever has the desired effects.

I want not him but his superiors to hang from their nuts who made the whole blunder possible. How can a single person lose data?

Gee. (5, Insightful)

skulgnome (1114401) | about 7 years ago | (#20937491)

I wonder how much those four months of deliberation cost them. All that work just for some petty punishment. (of course you yanks only get like six days of paid vacation a year, so maybe it's harsher from your perspective, lol.)

Re:Gee. (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 7 years ago | (#20937723)

I wonder how much those four months of deliberation cost them.
Well, I strongly doubt that they spent the entire 4 months deliberating this one issue. They probably had a couple of meetings where that was one of the topics in the bigger picture of how to handle all aspect of the data breach.

of course you yanks only get like six days of paid vacation a year, so maybe it's harsher from your perspective, lol
It's a government job, as a rule the public sector has a lot of paid vacation. It's just the private sector where its been chiseled away into "flex time." With his seniority he probably had 4-6 weeks of paid vacation.

Re:Gee. (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 7 years ago | (#20937729)

I wonder how much those four months of deliberation cost them.
Probably not very much.
If you've any experience with bureaucracy, when they say stuff like "4 months" they really mean "we took 4 months to schedule the 1~3 meetings required to reach a decision."

All that work just for some petty punishment.
Like I said, they probably didn't do much work. For all you know, they took 4 months just to let the original issue fade so that their 'punishment' wouldn't get pulled into the national news.

I'd look at the "petty punishment" as something they felt compelled to do, because to do otherwise would be to admit outright that the security around their data handling is seriously broken. Punishing the employee allows them to save face by spreading the blame around.

Not right! (1, Redundant)

Chris_Mir (679740) | about 7 years ago | (#20937515)

Admittedly it was not smart of the guy to leave the tape in the car. But changing procedures concerning handling these kind of data, is like saying something was wrong with the system from the beginning. Why not take a weeks vacation from the guy who is responsible for the procedures?

Re:Not right! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 7 years ago | (#20937537)

Why not take a weeks vacation from the guy who is responsible for the procedures?

They took the vacation time from the team leader of the person who lost the data. He may well be the person who writes the procedures. I know that I do in my team, and I have a mix of interns and experienced staff. Jobs with a heavy security implication I will give to the more experienced workers.

$3 million? (4, Interesting)

Palpitations (1092597) | about 7 years ago | (#20937527)

Okay, so the state thinks it will cost them $3 million. That's all well and good, but the real damages from this security breach will likely be much, much greater.

We're talking about personal information for 131,100 people here. ID theft being all the rage these days, and assuming that all these people are screwed, $3,000,000 comes out to just over $22 a person.

I doubt that every last person getting targetted will be the case... And I have no idea what the average ID theft victim ends up losing (I imagine that's hard to quantify - with direct losses, the time and money spent repairing the damage, and the impact on your credit history). Even so, I think a lowball estimate would be 25% of these people getting cheated out of an average of $3,000 or so. That right there is a little over $98 million.

Now then, I'm the first to admit that I could very well be grossly overestimating things... But really, come on now - a weeks vacation for what could potentially cost the state and it's citizens over a hundred million dollars? Hell, if I could get away with that kind of misconduct with penalties like that, I might just "steal" that tape from myself.

Re:$3 million? (1)

Palpitations (1092597) | about 7 years ago | (#20938031)

I hate replying to myself, but I think this is worthy of it... I really should have looked this up when I made my first post I suppose.

The average loss from identity theft was $6,383 per person in 2006 (according to a reference found on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] ).

Going with the 25% value I used before, that comes to $209,202,825.

A week? (1)

caluml (551744) | about 7 years ago | (#20937565)

A week? Isn't that about half an annual allowance in the US? </troll> /me is smug with 27 days.

Re:A week? (1)

vodevil (856500) | about 7 years ago | (#20937635)

All depends on your employer. I get 20 days vacation, 6 sick days, 2 personal days, 10 paid holidays, and usually a couple floating holidays each year. Some aren't so lucky, and get the typical 10 days total though.

Re:A week? (1)

caluml (551744) | about 7 years ago | (#20937693)

What is the difference between holiday and vacation then? I thought the second was just the US name for the first?

Re:A week? (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 7 years ago | (#20937735)

A holiday is a "holy day" or a government-recognized day of non-work. A vacation day is time allotted to you to take off for your own reasons.

A holiday is typically a traditional day off to celebrate a day of religious signficance, though in recent times there are other reasons given for holidays (Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, etc.)

Americans have many fewer holidays than many other countries. Likewise, they generally do not have as many vacation days allotted to them as in other more socialized countries.

Re:A week? (1, Troll)

caluml (551744) | about 7 years ago | (#20937741)

Wow. In that case, I get 27 days vacation a year. I think 25 is the legal minimum in the UK.
As for holidays, I'd guess about 20 a year - Christmas, Easter, Bank hols, etc.
Sick - well, I think it differs per employer - mine is about 24 I think.

No wonder you guys never get a chance to leave the US and see what the rest of the world is about.

Re:A week? (2, Insightful)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | about 7 years ago | (#20938029)

Yes, very true, indeed. Americans pay more tax - as measured in days of labor - than almost any other nation on the planet. A significant portion of this tax goes to 'Keeping the world safe from <insert dictator/regime/dogma here>'.

Remember that the next time some Western European slags off the Yanks within earshot. They paid for the reconstruction of most of the Western European economies after WWII, and footed the bill for keeping the Soviets out during the Cold War.

This same thing happened in Japan, don't forget.

So, when they do get their f*&#ing measly 10 days of annual vacation, they certainly don't want to spend at least two of them traveling to/from a foreign country, only to be insulted for their selflessness. I agree it's sad that Americans simply don't travel as much as many other nations do, and yes, this certainly is a significant cause of American ignorance of the rest of the world. Unfortunately, it is simply not the fault of the 'average' American that this is the case.

Re:A week? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20938147)

Remember that the next time some Western European slags off the Yanks within earshot. They paid for the reconstruction of most of the Western European economies after WWII, and footed the bill for keeping the Soviets out during the Cold War.
I'm not going to criticise the Americans for doing that, but at the same time don't tell me that there wasn't a very large element of self-interest there. Are you seriously suggesting that the Americans would have been happy with a Soviet-dominated Western Europe? Would they heck.

And it's been argued that much of America's post-war prosperity was due to the rebuilding of- and trading with- rebuilt economies. Had Europe fallen into economic disrepair, that certainly would have made it more likely to fall under Soviet influence, and again, become a threat to the US.

So we both won in this case. I think America's actions in the post-war era were as much enlightened self-interest as altruism, and nothing wrong with that- just don't get too sanctimonious about it.

As for "'keeping the world safe from insert dictator/regime/dogma here'" in a modern context, were you thinking of the war in Iraq?

Re:A week? (2, Interesting)

caluml (551744) | about 7 years ago | (#20938219)

Also, a little known fact - the UK has only just (in the last year or 2) paid off the debt that they had with the US. Apparently, the US offered to help, as long as the UK paid all their troop costs, fuel costs, etc. The UK has been paying it off slowly since 1945, although the US let us off the interest. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6215847.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:A week? (1)

caluml (551744) | about 7 years ago | (#20938259)

Ooops, got that a bit wrong, after re-reading. Never mind, no-one will be reading this far down the tree.

Re:A week? (4, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | about 7 years ago | (#20938417)

No wonder you guys never get a chance to leave the US and see what the rest of the world is about.

How frequently do your vacations include flying across an ocean? If your trip is any shorter, it isn't at all equivalent to leaving the US.

The real reason many people never leave the USA is because it's simply a huge place, spanning a large continent. Also, everything most people could want to see in their lifetime can be found inside the US. Here in the west, in a day I can drive from my house, to the tallest mountain in the contiguous US (4421m, Mt Whitney), past the oldest living organism (Methuselah tree) on earth, through a forest with the tallest trees on earth (Sequoia), to the lowest point on the content, right through the area with the highest recorded temperature on the planet, then, for good measure, round off the day by visiting The Grand Canyon.

Re:A week? (1)

Palpitations (1092597) | about 7 years ago | (#20937759)

It has to do with the time frame of the break you get. A holiday is usually a single day off. A vacation lasts much longer and, in many cases, involves travelling somewhere to "get away from it all".

Re:A week? (1)

vidarh (309115) | about 7 years ago | (#20937795)

From what I understand (not being American, but working with lots of them...) holidays in the US generally refer to days off you can't schedule yourself, equivalent to the UK bank holidays, while vacation time is taken individually. Some US companies will have additional holidays apart from the "official" holidays - it's fairly normal to have part of the christmas/new year period as paid holidays for example (the word "holiday" itself is a distortion of "holy day") . So 10 days paid holiday is more or less the same as for the UK. In other words you likely still have more vacation time than the poster you replied to.

Re:A week? (1)

diskis (221264) | about 7 years ago | (#20937771)

What is a sick day? You actually have a limit on how much you can be sick a year?

Re:A week? (1)

Palpitations (1092597) | about 7 years ago | (#20937909)

Yes, the US is really that backwards.

That said, given the way I've seen "sick days" used, they should probably be renamed "hangover days" ;)

Re:A week? (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 7 years ago | (#20938193)

What is a sick day? You actually have a limit on how much you can be sick a year?
A limit on how much work you can miss, yes. Sick days are normally used for something like a cold. Maybe I have an unusually strong immune system, or I'm just really stubborn, but I think I've only used two sick days this year. For more serious illnesses, employees have short-term and long-term disability insurance.

Re:A week? (1)

Fizzl (209397) | about 7 years ago | (#20937813)

6 sick days

How can you quantify this? If you are too sick to work, you are too sick to work.
Here the system is basically so that the employer has insurance, which compensates the employer for sick days the employee has. You can "call in sick" and have to consecutive sick days without certificate from doctor. After that you have to have a certificate in which doctor makes and estimation of how many days the employee must stay at home. And by must I mean you cannot go back to work even if you feel ok, because for these days the insurance will not cover any work related accident for the worker. Only the missed productivity to the employer.

Re:A week? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20937915)

In the US, employers aren't required to pay you for not working. Vacation days must be scheduled, sick days not. Employers are also not required to have insurance that covers employee's salary while they're sick. Most employers do cover some sick days for salaried employees. Mine and my wife's cover unlimited sick days. Not all do, as everyone who's senior in the union abuses it since they can't be fired.

Encryption, encryption, encryption... (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about 7 years ago | (#20937571)

Will we really have to wait for every ID in US to be stolen before some laws on mandatory encryption on privacy data are passed ?

Some quick considerations... (5, Insightful)

physicsphairy (720718) | about 7 years ago | (#20937575)

First of all, you can't fine him "$3 million", (a) because he couldn't pay it, (b) because then you probably have to pay people close to that amount just to convince them the financial risk of the job was worth taking.

Also, it's evident it wasn't 100% on him. The data was stolen from an intern's car. He bears the indirect culpability of not encrypting it, not backing it, trusting the intern, whatever. It's natural to feel that "heads should roll" but why should the onus of all this fall necessarily on him? (Well, maybe it all should--I'm just going off the blurb in the summary.)

On the other side of it, a week's vacation time is ridiculous, whether or not he's at fault. If he is, well, there should be a real punishment. If he's not, it's fairly idiotic to slap him around just for the show of doing so.

And how much did the four-month long investigation cost? If it was more than a week of this guy's vacation time... yeah, well, that was another win for the taxpayers, wasn't it?

The way it should have worked is that there should have been a clearly defined set of rules, a clearly defined set of responsibilities, and a clearly defined set of repercussions. When employee X neglected responsibility Y, he should have already been aware that Z would be the punishment, and Z should have been what happened immediately afterward. You might need a four month investigation to find the harddrive thief, but you shouldn't need more than a week to handle violations of internal policies.

Re:Some quick considerations... (1)

keraneuology (760918) | about 7 years ago | (#20937691)

Why continue to entrust him with the position?

A third party brought in from Ohio's Office of Collective Bargaining investigated the incident and recommended the penalty, in other words this guy is a union employee and therefore essentially immune from almost any significant discipline.

Re:Some quick considerations... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 years ago | (#20937787)

Yes, he is 100% guilty. How can it happen that a bloody intern can leave the house with sensitive data? He let that happen.

At the very least he should be removed from this position, he proved quite bluntly that he is unfit to make security related decisions.

Re:Some quick considerations... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 7 years ago | (#20937939)

How can it happen that a bloody intern can leave the house with sensitive data?

Maybe it was his job to take the backups to off site storage. Thats what I spent a lot of my time doing early in my career. You wouldn't want to waste a skilled worker on that type of job but you really would want to be sure that steps were in place to ensure security of the data, and that the intern was properly supervised.

Also... (1)

vodevil (856500) | about 7 years ago | (#20937627)

They are going to put him on paid administrative leave for 30 days. :)

Smells bad (2, Insightful)

ladybugfi (110420) | about 7 years ago | (#20937637)

From my experience people who do grossly inappropriate things get usually kicked out of the company. If these two get just this minor punishment it might be because the organization did not have clear enough policies and procedures for storing and handling the data. If there are no rules or employees do not know them, people can not be held accountable for any wrongdoing. If this is the case, even this vacation time punishment is too severe.

On the other hand, maybe the organization subscribes to the principle of giving people a second chance.

Re:Smells bad (1)

keraneuology (760918) | about 7 years ago | (#20937711)

Incorrect. As a unionized worker it isn't that there are no clear policies - in fact, the policies and procedures are probably specific down to the letter (and largely ignored). The minor punishment is unquestionably in deference to unionized government employees who are virtually immune from punishment - this is why teachers who are accused of improper sexual contact (or buying plants without the principal's permission? wtf?) with one of the students are given full salary to sit in a room and do nothing [nypost.com] for years on end as they wait for "review".

Re:Smells bad (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 7 years ago | (#20938269)

Wow. Good thing they have these procedures. Why fire someone for buying a plant for his school and giving students watches he made?

And it's amazing how screwed up the thinking is: "Some say the teachers themselves are to blame - their union contract requires a hearing before any tenured employee can be fired."

What next? The citizens are to be blamed - the Constitution requires due process before any citizen can be thrown in jail?

As far as I can see, the hearings just aren't happening often enough. So whose fault is that?

Oh.. (1)

Sobieski (1032500) | about 7 years ago | (#20937733)

I read it as the others were going on vacation to not have to deal with him but actually, they took HIS vacation away, they didnt take a vacation away from him

A week vacation time for the tape? Deal! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 years ago | (#20937803)

Hell, can I work there and "lose" a tape as well? I mean, a week vacation time less is quite ok, from the money I make when I sell that tape to the local papers I can make the rest of my vacation time worth that lost week.

Mistake (4, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | about 7 years ago | (#20937879)

The guy made a mistake. We don't know him or the situation. He may be otherwise great at his job.

What's all this crap about his punishment should match the cost of the mistake rubbish?

If a doctor makes a mistake and a patient dies, do we kill the doctor?

Re:Mistake (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#20937989)

No, but only because doctors are an expensive item, not because we're so intrinsically civilized. Bureaucrats, on the other hand, for the most part are a dime a dozen. We can well spare a few.

But yeah, the punishment maybe shouldn't match the cost of the mistake ... but it should fit the crime. Somehow a week's vacation doesn't seem like enough. The only way I can see it being reasonable is if he was in a situation where his bosses refused to allocate sufficient resources to get the job done. In that case, it's their heads that ought to be rolling and he's just being made the fall guy.

Re:Mistake (1)

hanshotfirst (851936) | about 7 years ago | (#20938243)

Last I checked, incompetence is still not a crime.

Vacation Time (1)

verybadradio (1129207) | about 7 years ago | (#20937905)

If it's like the federal government, he gets between 20 and 26 days of vacation time per year. It can accumulate for up to two years. At least they didnt spank him and take away his birthday!

whew. (1)

z_gringo (452163) | about 7 years ago | (#20937951)

Well, that seems reasonable. I'm glad they found a good way to deal with this situation.

After 4 hours of deliberation... (2, Funny)

Jtheletter (686279) | about 7 years ago | (#20937971)

Mr. Miller announced "Well, fuck it," and decide to revoke all Payroll DB access rights, delete the tables and go on "permanent" vacation from the job. Problem solved!

On a more serious note.... what happened to the intern?

Re:After 4 hours of deliberation... (3, Informative)

pbemfun (265334) | about 7 years ago | (#20938157)

The intern was fired a few weeks after this happened. As was the intern's immediate supervisor and the supervisor's manager.

they guy (0, Offtopic)

1u3hr (530656) | about 7 years ago | (#20938049)

"... they guy in charge of the missing data."

Happy tenth birthday Slashdot. Spelling is more like seven, though.

I received the "We lost your data" letter ... (2, Insightful)

ZenOfBelan (1172059) | about 7 years ago | (#20938079)

I recieved one of those lovely "We lost your data" letters ... 2 months after the incident. So, as one of the individuals who was personally impacted by this, I'd like to say a few things:

1) Their IT staff is incompetent. In my department, we ship over 50TB a week to our DR facility in England. We have had instances where tapes were lost in transit (thanks FedEx!) but the data was encrypted. No harm, no foul. That being said, their idea of sending tapes offsite was to put it in the back of an intern's car. GENIUS!

2) This petty hand-slaping is absurd. Yes, I want the idiot fired and replaced by someone who gives a damn about data management, security, and data classification.

3) 2 months to contact people who were on the tapes?! FFS!

4) Their incident handling in the media was that the criminals would need "specialized knowledge and tools" to extract the information. It says what kind of tape it is right on the case! That, and a little Google go a long way. Stop feeding the public a line of BS and own up to the fact that it's really not that hard to get the data off the tape.

There are others, but those are the ones that are pissing me off at the moment.

Re:I received the "We lost your data" letter ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20938327)

File a class action against the agency, the intern, and the idiot in charge of the tape.
THIS IS SPA^H^H^HAMERICA!

What are you going to do next... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20938127)

Announcer: "Jerry Miller, you just caused the loss of $3 million for the state of Ohio, and negatively impacted the lives of more than 100,000 people. What are you going to do next?"

Miller: "I am apparently NOT going to Disney World."

there! (1)

m2943 (1140797) | about 7 years ago | (#20938207)

He'll be severely whipped with a wet noodle! That'll teach him!

Doesn't this violate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20938279)

...the Eighth Amendment?

I'm Impressed (3, Insightful)

sskinnider (1069312) | about 7 years ago | (#20938313)

It is rare that a person accepts responsibility in the private sector, it is even more rare that they accept it in the civil service. It goes to show that this man has a decent moral character.
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