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Employment Applications Asking for Social Security California

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  • Employment Applications Asking for Social Security California

    I am applying for a new job. Is it legal for an employer to ask possible candidates for their social security number prior to even offering them a job let alone prior to hiring them? Additionally, there is a box on the application that asks if hired can you "verify that you have the legal right to work in the United States" which I will check yes.

    Thank you. Awaiting someone's earliest reply.

  • #2
    Yes it is legal to ask for the SSN. It may not be a bright idea but it is legal. It is absolutely legal to ask if a candidate may legally work in the US.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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    • #3
      It is not illegal to ask for the ssn, but given the problems of identity theft, we discontinued the practice of asking for it on the application years ago.

      It absolutely makes sense to ask if a person is legally eligible to work in the US. You aren't being asked HOW you are eligible (that could pose a problem), just that you are.
      Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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      • #4
        Thank you all for the fast responses. I am still curious why any employer would ask for a social on an application? I am reluctant to leave it on an application for the reason stated earlier, identify theft. Do you think it will hurt my chances of getting the job by leaving it blank or simply writing that it will be given upon job offer or hiring?

        Thanks again.

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        • #5
          If you don't trust the possible employer to keep your information safe and confidential why on earth would you want to work for them?

          I kinda get the whole possible identity theft angle but I really think this is much to do about nothing.
          "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate'' - Sir William of Ockham, a.k.a. Ockham's Razor

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          • #6
            It may just be an old application. You could write "will provide when required". Just an idea.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by brownstorm View Post
              Do you think it will hurt my chances of getting the job by leaving it blank or simply writing that it will be given upon job offer or hiring?
              It would not bother me one bit, but since we don't ask for it, my answer won't stand for all companies.
              Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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              • #8
                How about asking the potential employer if they require that information on the application? Beats guessing if they will see that as a snooty response or dismiss your application as being incomplete. Could be an old form, or there could be a good reason for asking (like they are a huge company and the number of Jane Smiths that apply each year is staggering and the SSN is how they distinguish one from another in the applicant tracking system).
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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