Are you required to give your SSN to a workplace that has already laid you off?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Are you required to give your SSN to a workplace that has already laid you off?

I worked at a locally owned small business for 4 months or less. They didn’t get my SSN or address and only paid me in personal checks despite me constantly asking for them to take my taxes out. I was frequently paid less than minimum wage and sometimes not at all. They laid me off soon after announcing I was

pregnant and now months later are asking me for my SSN. I made less than $4000 from them and was not planning on filing taxes. What could happen if I refuse to provide them with my SSN?

Asked on February 12, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

First, you do know that you *must* file taxes, don't you? Even if you expect to owe nothing--even if you would be entitled to an earned income tax credit because you earned so little--you have to file a tax return. 
Second, if your employer is going to be doing what they are supposed to, and providing you with a W-2 or 1099 (if they considered you an independent contractor--though it is very likely that legally, you were an employee), they need the SSN to do this. That said, if you are not working there, there is really nothing they can do to you if won't provide this: i.e. they can't suspend you until you provide the SSN, terminate you for not cooperating, etc.
Third, you MUST be paid at least minimun wage, and MUST be paid for all work done--the law is clear about that. If they paid you less than minimum or sometimes failed to pay you at all, they violated the law and owe you money. You may wish to speak to the state or federal Department of Labor about filing a wage and hour complaint.
Fourth, it is illegal to terminate a woman because she is pregant; that is considered illegal sex-based discrimination. If you were terminated soon after you told them you were pregnant, you may have been fired in violation of the law and may have a legal claim about that, too. You would contact the federal EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) about that.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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