Sprouts Farmers Market has been hit with two class action lawsuits for the data breach that occurred in March 2016. Two weeks after Sprouts employee’s personal information was released to a third unknown party employees were given a memo regarding the data breach. An email posed as coming from a Sprout executive known as a Phishing Scam, was sent to a Sprouts employee in accounting requesting the W-2 information for all 2015 Sprouts Nationwide employees, numbering around 21,000. Once this information was compiled and sent off it was realized that it was a “phishing scam” and that the employee’s confidential tax information had been released to a third unknown party. W-2 information includes the employee’s social security numbers, names, addresses and total earning and deductions for the 2015 tax year. This information is all someone would need to file a tax return or commit identity theft. The FBI and IRS are investigating this crime and trying to figure out the best way to protect the Sprouts employee’s personal information The lawsuit Julio Hernandez v. Sprouts Farmers Market Inc., Case No. 16-cv-0958 was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, by employee Julio Hernandez and another Price v. Sprouts Farmers Market, Case No. 1:16-cv-00855, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado by Debra Price. When Ms. Price went to file her 2015 tax return she was informed someone had already e-filed and did a rapid refund with her tax information. Ms. Price’s class action alleges negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, breach of implied contract and invasion of privacy. The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief including compensatory, punitive and statutory damages. She is also seeking 25 years of credit and bank monitoring along with identity insurance. The release of this critical confidential information can have ramification for years on Sprouts Employees impacting their lives for years to come, such as assuming their identity, opening up credit cards and lines of credit, or filing tax returns .One of the biggest questions is why did a Sprouts employee have access to such critical payroll information and the ability to release it to a third party. This was done without confirming that the request was actually from the Senior Executive, to whom the information was assumed to have been requested from. Hernandez claims in his lawsuit, that Sprouts has a legal obligation to safeguard and protect employee personal information. Steps should have be taken to ensure that when confidential employee information is requested that it is double checked to make sure that the persons requesting the information are legitimate and should even have access to it. A simple phone call could have prevented this breach. His lawsuit asks for preventive measures to be put in place to make sure a breach such as this does not occur again Sprouts offered it employees a one year free credit monitoring, but this is nothing compared to the financial ramifications and fraud that the employees could face in the future from Sprouts negligence. Hernandez had to pay his bank an additional $12.99 a month for identity theft protection. In the class action suit he alleges that Sprouts violated California’s Records Act and other privacy statutes by waiting two weeks to notify those affected by the breach. He is seeking statutory and punitive damages as well as restitution. He has also filed an injunctive order to make sure that Sprouts hires a third party security firm to monitor, train and conduct audits to avoid future data breaches. If you were affected by the Sprouts data breach Please Contact Us and provide any details along with contact information. If you prefer to leave a voicemail you can call 1.858.236.9020. GetClassActionMoney.com can then forward these requests to our network of attorneys that may contact you if a Class Action Lawsuit is to be pursued. In addition make sure you Subscribe to our mailing list to receive important updates regarding class action news and open cases.