For Private Companies
Private companies are not required to accept the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) substitute address as someone's legal address; however, they may accept it when asked. If they cannot use the substitute address, they may be able to use other safe guards to limit who will have access to a person's address. If you have any questions about the ACP, please contact the ACP office at 1.800.563.6399.
ACP and Employment-based Issues
Many businesses are discovering the health-related costs associated with rape, physical assault, stalking and homicide by intimate partners.
In fact, the American Institute on Domestic Violence has offered the following statistics:
• Estimated health-related costs have exceeded $5.8 billion each year. Of this total, nearly $4.1 billion is for victims requiring direct medical and mental health care services.
• Lost productivity and earnings due to intimate partner violence accounts for almost $1.8 billion each year.
• 68% of senior executives surveyed agreed that their company’s financial performance would benefit from addressing the issue of domestic violence among its employees.
• 94% of corporate security directors identify domestic violence as a high security risk.
• Homicide is the leading cause of death for women in the workplace.
• 56% of corporate leaders are personally aware of specific employees who are affected by domestic violence.
More and more employers are acknowledging and accepting the obligation to assure and provide a safe workplace environment by putting into effect domestic and workplace violence policies. Not only do employers have an obligation to respond to their own employees but also to maintain any safety and security measures within a company that offers a service to the public. If you have not developed a workplace violence policy within your company you can review the US Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (www.OSHA.gov) guidelines for guidance on developing a policy and prevention program.
What does ACP mean for my business?
The Domestic and Sexual Violence Victim Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) requires government agencies to accept the ACP substitute address from a participant whenever a residential, work or school address is required. Private businesses are not required to accept the substitute address, however, the ACP strongly encourages participants to ask that their employers accept the substitute address. The substitute address is a PO Box address that further assists the participant in keeping their residential, work and/or school address confidential. Keeping the workplace information of an ACP participant confidential can assist both the employer and employee in maintaining safety.
Can I verify my employee is an ACP participant?
A participant’s enrollment with the ACP is not confidential. Information regarding their actual residential, school and work address is protected and confidential.
How can my business learn more?
Contact the Office of Victim Advocate at 1.800.563.6399 for further information including brochures, posters and employee training.
Strategies for Employers
1. Develop a detailed policy and plan on violence within the workplace.
2. Recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse and any signs of an abuser.
3. Provide a supportive workplace environment through educational programs, displaying posters, and ensuring the availability of brochures from local victim service agencies.
4. Accept the ACP substitute address as the employer’s official address.
5. Know your local, state and national resources.
Providing a supportive workplace environment through education and prevention programs helps all your employees. An employer can maintain a safe and supportive environment for an employee to disclose their abuse and get some help. Co-workers can feel comfortable supporting someone who may be in an abusive relationship.
ACP and Financial-based Issues
The Domestic and Sexual Violence Victim Address Confidentiality Act (23 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 6701 et seq) created the Pennsylvania Address Confidentiality Program (ACP). The ACP provides an important service to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and/or stalking by providing a legal substitute address for victims who have moved to a new location unknown to their perpetrator. State and local government agencies are required to use the ACP substitute address as the participant’s legal address. Banks are now required to accept the substitute address, allowing participants to keep their physical address confidential. This letter will explain the requirements of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) ruling.
An ACP participant’s account profile must indicate the customer’s ACP substitute address, including their ACP number. All correspondence, including any potential legal correspondence, must be sent to the customer’s substitute address. All ACP participants are provided a laminated authorization card, which includes their complete ACP substitute address. A sample copy of the card is attached to this letter.
The ACP substitute address is:
(Participant’s ACP #)
PO Box 2465 | Harrisburg, PA 17105-2465
The only time you may use an address other than the ACP substitute address is for the Customer Identification Program (CIP) requirement. On November 3, 2009 the United States Department of the Treasury, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), authorized an exemption for participants in address confidentiality programs (ACPs) from the usual requirement that people provide their actual residence address for bank account records. The letter specifically states:
"A customer who participates in a state-created ACP shall be treated as not having a residential or business street address and a secretary of state, or other state entity serving as a designated agent of the customer consistent with the terms of the ACP, will act as another contact individual for the purpose of complying with FinCEN's rules." ~ US Department of Treasury, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, letter dated November 3, 2009.
Pennsylvania’s ACP is administered by the Pennsylvania Office of Victim Advocate (OVA). In accordance with the FinCEN Ruling, OVA will serve as another contact individual for the purpose of the customer profile address for participants in Pennsylvania’s ACP, allowing banks to comply with FinCEN’s rules without obtaining a participant’s residential address. The following address, including the ACP#, must be documented in the record as the customer profile address for an ACP participant banking customer:
Office of Victim Advocate | 1101 South Front Street, Suite 5200 | Harrisburg, PA 17104
No banking correspondence should ever be sent to this address. No correspondence for ACP participants will be accepted at this address. This address is only to be used as the customer profile address for the ACP participants’ banking records. The OVA’s address is only to be used for internal banking purposes.
The Office of Victim Advocate will not be responsible for any collections actions.
Thank you for your cooperation in helping to keep ACP participants safe. If you have questions about Pennsylvania’s Address Confidentiality Program, please contact us at 1.800.563.6399.
ACP and Utility-based Issues
Most utility companies are private businesses and, therefore, do not have to accept an ACP address. However, many companies work to protect a participant's actual address the best way they can. Utility companies may require your residential address for service.
If a participant must have their name on the account, use minimal personal information required to open an account and place an additional security setting on the account, such as:
• Password protecting the account
• Transferring the account to a special services department
• A confidential “flag” on the account
• Using the substitute address as their mailing address
• Use any other measures to protect a participant's physical address