Human resources questions: addressing concerns about identity theft

Aug. 24, 2012
What do you do when an employee wants you to remove his or her Social Security number from paycheck stubs to prevent identity theft concerns? Tim Twigg and Rebecca Crane of Bent Ericksen & Associates offer expert advice as they clarify the Labor Code requirements.

Q:My practice is in California. I’ve recently been asked by an employee to stop including her Social Security number on her paycheck stub. She is concerned about identity theft issues. Can I remove the number altogether?

A: California Labor Code Section 226 does require employers to provide employees with an accurate, itemized paycheck stub that includes, among other things, the employee’s name and Social Security number. However, this section was amended in 2005 to address the increasing concern of identity theft. Employers may include no more than the last four digits of an employee’s Social Security number or use an “employee identification number,” which must be a number unrelated to the employee’s Social Security number. Since your employees are requesting a change, I recommend you do so.

The opinions expressed above are based on the writer’s comprehensive background as a human resources professional and the policies in our Bent Ericksen & Associates products having been reviewed by legal counsel. The writer is not an attorney, and the advice provided in this message should not be construed as a legal opinion. If you have legal questions after considering the advice and reading any materials referenced, it is recommended that you consult with your attorney.

Author bio
Tim Twigg is the president of Bent Ericksen & Associates, and Rebecca Crane is a human resource compliance consultant with Bent Ericksen & Associates. For 30 years, the company has been a leading authority in human resource and personnel issues, helping dentists deal successfully with the ever-changing and complex labor laws. To receive a complimentary copy of the company’s quarterly newsletter or to learn more about its services, call (800) 679-2760 or visit