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HR Solutions

Illinois SSN # Law:

Take it seriously

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As of this past July 1 your use of employee social security numbers must

conform with a new state law designed to protect workers from identify theft.  The law is enforced by the Illinois Attorney General, and she can slap you with a $10,000 fine.   

Obviously under this law you are prohibited from displaying or posting an employee’s SSN.  But if you are a private sector employer in Illinois you may not print the SSN on any materials mailed to any of your employees, unless required by law, e.g., to complete and send out W-2s.  Hence any inclusion of the SSN in pay stubs or benefit plan statements is illegal. Note that you may not use employee SSNs as employee IDs for group insurance cards. 

Internet-related restrictions also are included in this new act:  you may not require an employee to transmit his SSN over the Net unless the number is encrypted or the connection is secure.  Nor may you require the employee to use his SSN to access a website, including your own, unless the site also requires authentication for access, such as a password.

Finally, you may not require the use of the SSN for an employee to get access to products or services you provide.

What’s allowed?  There’s a grandfather clause: If you had been doing anything with the SSN prior to July 1,2005 – and that was illegal under this new law – you can continue doing it with notice to, and the consent from, the employee,  The use of these numbers when the law requires it, and for payroll processing purposes.  You may include the SSN in a packet of applicatin or enrollment. 

10/17/06