Is your organization using the last four digits of an employee’s Social Security number as their identifier for clocking in and out? This is not a best practice, and California Code, Civil Code – CIV § 1798.8 may prohibit it.
According to the details of that law, a person or entity (including an employer) may not do any of the following:
(1) Publicly post or publicly display in any manner an individual’s Social Security number. “Publicly post” or “publicly display” means to intentionally communicate or otherwise make available to the general public.
(2) Print an individual’s Social Security number on any card required for the individual to access products or services provided by the person or entity.
(3) Require an individual to transmit the individual’s Social Security number over the internet, unless the connection is secure or the Social Security number is encrypted.
(4) Require an individual to use the individual’s Social Security number to access an internet website, unless a password or unique personal identification number or other authentication device is also required to access the internet website.
(5) Print an individual’s Social Security number on any materials that are mailed to the individual, unless state or federal law requires the Social Security number to be on the document to be mailed. Notwithstanding this paragraph, Social Security numbers may be included in applications and forms sent by mail, including documents sent as part of an application or enrollment process, or to establish, amend, or terminate an account, contract, or policy, or to confirm the accuracy of the social security number. A Social Security number that is permitted to be mailed under this section may not be printed, in whole or in part, on a postcard or other mailer not requiring an envelope, or visible on the envelope or without the envelope having been opened.
If your business is currently using even partial Social Security numbers for this or any other purpose, it is important to end that practice and choose another set of numbers for time clock identification.
This article is informational and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Consult with an employment lawyer or accountant for additional clarification on how these changes impact your company.