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As an independent consultant (1099), can a client legally ask for my DOB and SS# on their consulting contract agmnt?

Santa Ana, CA |

Client provided me consulting contract agmt. On one of the agmnt pages; it asks for personal information including; DOB and SS#. Is this legal? Especially, if I'm over 50yr, does it boderline on age discrimination protection?

If 1099's are being filed at the end of year, why even ask this question at the beginning of the engagement contract?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Best answer

    If you are truly an independent contractor, labor laws don't apply to you. As such, you are not protected from age or any other type of discrimination. It is odd that your client wants to know your age and ss number. Of course, you don't have to provide it. The only reason I can think of as to why they would want that info is for identification, to know if you are in the country legally or to have that info if they ever sue you and get a judgment they want to collect on. For the 1099 - they don't need your date of birth, but will need your social security number. I suggest that you provide the ss number for the 1099, but there is no reason for them to know your dob. If you need help with the contract, contact me at 949-481-6909. www.employment-business-attorney.com Kristine Karila


  2. As an independent contractor, you and your client can agree to your own terms, including what is required by the other to assess the advisability of working with one another. You are allowed to say no. They are allowed to not hire you.

    Age discrimination laws protect employees against age discrimination. They do not protect independent contractors.

    You make a good argument about the relevance of this information. I suggest you make that argument with your potential contracting partner.

    Good luck to you.

    Pedersen Heck McQueen, APLC is an Irvine, California employee rights law firm assisting employees in all Southern California counties.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.


  3. If you are suspicious of the client's intentions perhaps you have cause for concern. There are 1000s of ways scam artists obtain personal information from victims – perhaps this is one of them.

    On the other hand it is not inappropriate for a person or company to want proof of who they have hired. A social security number will be necessary for a 1099 and it is not wrong for them to obtain this information when you are engaged. A DOB is likewise helpful for identification purposes and, so long as you’ve already been engaged, how could it be age discrimination?

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  4. Yes, a client can ask for that information. No, it's not age discrimination.

    There is an easy solution to your problem: Obtain an Employer Identification Number from the IRS and provide that, rather than your SSN, to each client. (Please see the page at the link below.)

    This information does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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