Employment Law/S.S. NO.


I gave my employer my s.s. no. and a few employees also know my number. What can somebody do with someone else's s.s.number? What can I do to safeguard myself. Also, can I put a block on someone by name from using my s.s. number from going online and find personal information about me?


The Maryland Personal Information Protection Act protects the privacy and personal information of state residents, including employees and job applicants (MD Commercial Code Sec. 14-3501 et seq.). Employers must notify any state resident affected by a security breach in the employer's computer system that jeopardizes the individual's personal information. In addition, the law requires employers to implement security procedures to protect the personal information they keep in electronic files.  

An identity thief can do a lot of mischief with a social security number (SSN), especially if the thief also has the person's birth date.  Unfortunately, it's impossible to stop people from searching for your personal information online, and all of us, like it or not, have a lot of personal information "out there" on public platforms of various kinds.  Most people are surprised to learn how easy it is for someone to find out a great deal of information about them, without violating any law in the process.  It's what people with criminal intentions do with that information that counts, of course.

While your employer would be required to notify you if your personal information were to be compromised in any way, by then the damage could be done.  As of now, we all are on our own in protecting ourselves from identity theft.  I highly recommend using one of the good commercial identity theft protection services.  You can also get information on identity theft prevention from the website of the Maryland Attorney General, here:


I hope you find this helpful.

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Frank C. Magill


I can answer questions about any U.S. labor or employment law question. I cannot answer questions about non-US law. I am not a specialist in employee benefit law (ERISA and HIPAA) or Workers' Compensation law, but will do my best to point questioners toward good resources availabe online. Expertise includes, without limitation, EEO/Affirmative Action/Employment discrimination (Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans With Disabilities Act, GINA, Fair Credit Reporting Act as applied to employment); Fair Labor Standards Act; Texas labor code; Family Medical Leave Act; employee compensation; discipline and dismissal; force reductions, severance pay programs and administration; collective bargaining, union representation, grievances and arbitration, National Labor Relations Act and National Labor Relations Board; employee handbooks; staffing; dispute resolution outside of traditional labor agreements; employee communications; employment policies and compliance programs; codes of ethics; employment or labor litigation.


30+ years experience as corporate counsel for a Fortune 100 telecom company, specializing in labor and employment law issues. In addition to providing day-to-day advice to my company's internal HR leadership and staff, I've represented the company in numerous labor arbitration cases and at the bargaining table.

Texas, Illinois and Missouri state bars

J.D. 1979, Harvard Law School. B.A., Summa Cum Laude, 1976, Illinois Wesleyan University.

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