8/13/2007Pennsylvania Using Confidential DMV Database for its Own Marketing Purposes
Pennsylvania state representative seeks to stop PennDOT from sending unsolicited job letters to holders of commercial licenses.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is combing through confidential Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) database records so that it can mail targeted job offers to holders of commercial drivers' licenses. To date, the agency has sent out 100,000 solicitations, raising the ire of local business groups. After member companies learned their employees were being asked to leave their jobs to work for PennDOT, the York County Chamber of Commerce complained to state Representative Keith Gillespie (R-Hellam) who is considering legislation to ban the practice.
"PennDOT is utilizing resources to which only they have access, in order to cherry pick potential employees," Gillespie said. "PennDOT should have to operate on the same playing field as its competitors, when it comes to prospecting for employees."
PennDOT has been desperate to find truck drivers after a inadequate performance in clearing winter snows early this year left motorists stranded on freeways. The agency will pay $14.23 an hour to drivers in five districts within the state on a full-time basis in the winter. Gillespie recognized the need for hiring quality workers, but asked PennDOT Secretary Allen Biehler to respect the privacy of license holders and cease the solicitations on its own. If the department fails to comply, Gillespie intends to follow up with a legislative ban.
"I am hoping PennDOT will do the right thing and protect our citizens' privacy by acting on its own," Gillespie said. "If PennDOT is having problems competing with the private sector in recruiting personnel, let's find a different solution."