Sell your labor wit...
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Sell your labor without a W-4

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You might not be able to find an employer that follows the law. Here are my suggestions. This is not legal advice. 

The W-4 form has a Privacy Act Statement that does not meet the requirements of the Privacy Act. 

Here is a copy of the Privacy Act. Save a copy because it is no longer available from the government. 

Attached is a paragraph from the Legislative History of the Privacy Act. It says that the Privacy Act applies to private employers. 

Attached is another paragraph from the Legislative History of the Privacy Act that says the law for Privacy Act Statements are to use the specific word "Mandatory" or the word "Voluntary". 

Another law requiring the disclosure request to use the word mandatory is the Paperwork Reduction Act Section 3506(c)(1)(B)(iii) (IV). They must disclose whether responses are voluntary, or mandatory, or required to obtain a benefit. If you don’t see these words, then it is a bootleg form that can be ignored according to the Legislative History of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

And the Social Security Administration has a brochure entitled "Your Card and Number". Publication 05-10002 warns that "Giving your number is voluntary even when you are asked for the number directly." and gives advice on what to ask when requested for a number.

Get a copy of SSA publication SSA-05-10002 Your Social Security Number and Card.  Their on-line PDF is not sufficient, government publications are admissible as evidence according to Federal Rules of Evidence Rule 902. Try to get several copies. Give one to your new Employer and point out what SSA tells people to do. Ask your new Employer why your number is needed, how it will be used, what happens if you refuse, and what law requires you to give your number. (Hint: the law requires some employers to ask, it does not require you to give a number).

If they do not give you a specific law, section or paragraph to read, then remind them that a federal case determined in Doe v. Sharp 491 F.Supp. 346 (1980):
“The disclosure requirements of the Privacy Act are not fulfilled if citizens must pry required information from an agency by initiating a civil action and propounding specific interrogatories ...; neither does an agency cure an initial failure to disclose by supplying citations to an unrevealing passage from an agency handbook.” 

Internal Revenue Code section 6109 requires employers to ask for a number (if they are subject to that particular law).  It does not require you to have a number or give a number. Also know that there are court cases where SSNs were never to be used for identification. See SSN IS NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION - Do Not Be Fooled by Government ( 

You might also be interested in the Bruce Hanson EEOC determination that a SSN is not needed. 

And there is a federal law that punishes those who compel a SSN from someone in violation of federal laws. Title 42 U.S. Code section 408(a)8. But don't mention this to your employer because it might be a threat. See your State's definition of the word threat. 

For more information, get my book Resisting the W-4 and I-9


This topic was modified 3 years ago 3 times by Steven
Posted : 27/07/2021 2:24 pm