I got hired at a new job recently at a local business and I asked them when I needed to give them my SSN, and they said they didn't need it until after the first week of paid training. I asked them if they needed any other identification and they said no. Also, payment is through checks.

According to the SSA,

We don’t require you to have a Social Security number before you start work. However, the Internal Revenue Service requires employers to use your Social Security number to report your wages.

So I suppose it is not necessary to give them my SSN now. However, it seems that I am required to establish identity and employment authorization. I could use a "receipt" instead, but I would have to do it within three business days of working.

Is this legal? Would I be held liable if I continued work knowing this?

  • Are you being paid yet?
    – cpast
    Jun 12 at 17:32
  • 3
    The burden is on the employer, not you, to collect the i-9 form or the receipt if you are working to replace a lost or damaged original document. Is there a missing detail in the question-- are you legally authorized to work but for whatever reason don't have an SSN number or your SSN document? If not then perhaps the business is simply sloppy on their process, or they are not intending to pay you for some part of the training period given they are specifying the document need only after "paid training".
    – user662852
    Jun 12 at 17:51
  • 1
    "is this legal?": Is what legal? You link to the federal government's page describing the requirement to prove that you are authorized to work in the US, which also requires establishing your identity. Are you asking whether the government is acting illegally in imposing this requirement? Are you asking whether the employer is acting illegally in subjecting you to this requirement? Something else? Also, the USCIS requirement must be satisfied when you start working. You're already earning money when you start working even though you haven't yet received your first paycheck.
    – phoog
    Jun 13 at 10:07
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    @phoog I am asking if working without giving the employer identification is illegal.
    – Shidouuu
    Jun 13 at 16:09
  • 1
    Thanks for clarifying. Your working without providing the I-9 documents is potentially illegal for your employer and they would most likely be within their rights, therefore, to refuse to employ you until you provide them. I don't know how seriously they might be in trouble if you are actually authorized to work, however, probably not very seriously at all.
    – phoog
    Jun 13 at 16:20


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