After registering for a conference in Baltimore MD, the organizer wants to see a copy of my w-9 or paystub to show proof of employment in order to attend the show. I do contract work for a local company in Maine and filled out a w-9 for that local company, since I'll be paid for work performed.
But I am not seeking employment with the conference organizer, nor expect to be paid in services or products by the conference organizer. I just wanted to attend the trade show conference along with a representative of the local company I do work for. Is demanding a w-9 or paystub in order to attend a conference legal? If not, to whom should this digression be reported?
Your question does not even come close to being a tax question. However, just as a general rule, if the conference is strictly a private event, they can request just about anything in the form of identification to determine whether someone is entitled to attend the conference.
Personally, I would not hesitate to show some proof of employment provided it did not contain my social security number.
I did not intend my response to be harsh and am truly sorry it had an adverse affect and you were offended.
Nevertheless, this is a forum designed for tax and financial issues, you asked a strictly legal question and I posted an answer. Perhaps the tenor of the answer was overly blunt but it is accurate nonetheless.
A W-9 is not proof of anything when it comes to employment. Even an unemployed person can fill out a W-9 and so long as the information is "true and correct to the best of their knowledge" they've done nothing wrong. If you are self-employed and your business is registered as an LLC or higher, the only thing that I would accept that would come anywhere close to "proof" would be a copy of your business license. I might also request a copy of your most current state registration as proof your business was in fact "active" with the state.
For example, you can get proof of the status of my own LLC at http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/SearchResultDetail?inquirytype=EntityName&directi... and it clearly shows my business is "active" and the registration is current.