State Reminder to Help Prevent Identity Theft
BALTIMORE - The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation has a reminder for employers as
the first paychecks of the year go out; Social Security numbers may no longer appear on employee paychecks,
pay stubs, or direct deposit notifications, effective immediately.
House Bill #388, passed by the Maryland General Assembly in the 2006 session states: "An employer may not
print or cause to be printed an employee's Social Security number on the employee's wage payment check, an
attachment to an employee's wage payment check, a notice of direct deposit of an employee's wage or a notice
of credit of an employee's wage to a debit card or card account."
DLLR's Division of Labor and Industry is responsible for civil enforcement of the new law. A possible
violation of the law brought to the attention of the Commissioner can be reviewed; sent to mediation for
resolution; or referred to the Attorney General's office for legal action to ensure future compliance with
the law. An employer who violates the law can also face criminal charges with a maximum penalty of $1000.00.
The Maryland division of Unemployment Insurance Benefits currently uses only the last four digits of a
person's Social Security number on benefit checks and State of Maryland employee pay stubs no longer contain
an employee's SSN according to the State Comptroller's Office.
The bill passed amid growing concern regarding identity theft and recognition that unauthorized use of
SSN's is the most common way criminals gain access to an individual's personal and financial information.
The number of identity theft complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission from Maryland residents
increased by more than 400 percent over the past five years. At least six other states have passed similar
legislation limiting the use of Social Security numbers on documents that could be made public or be
accessed via the Internet.