The Feds Change The Rules Regarding “No-Match” Letters!
As you may recall I wrote an article regarding “No-Match” letters (when the Social Security Adminstration sends you a letter that the social security number of an employee does not match their records) well over a year ago. Well, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has recently announced that they have changed their position and are “officially” dropping the much debated “no-match” rule which, according to them, required employers to fire workers if there was a discrepancy between the worker’s Social Security Number and official government records. I am not sure that I agree with that because the letters they sent specifically stated “do not terminate based upon this letter.” In fact, we painstakingly went through a step-by-step process on what to do when you receive such a letter. We only recommended termination after the employer exhausted every step and then advised clients to still move cautiously. Now they have stated that the rule imposed penalties on employers “who didn’t fire employees if the discrepancy wasn’t quickly explained.”
Anyway, they have apparently determined that the rule has caused problems for employers (really?? Duh!) because employers have terminated “legal” employees because of “inaccurate and outdated government record databases.” Now you can really appreciate why I had you take those steps of having them re-check their records. Now this news may sound good, but you cannot let your guard down on following through with each employee/new hire to ensure that they are still legally employable. The Feds still intend to roll forward aggressivly on the whole issue of employers hiring illegal workers. In fact, they have stated that they are planning on hiring more field inspectors to investigate illegal workers.
So what does this all mean? Simple. Instead of them focusing on catching individual workers who do not have valid social security numbers (Because their records are not worth a crap!), they are going to go after employers who “routinely” hire illegal workers. Unfortunately this also means that employers that are doing everything right will have to be “terrorized” by having to go through the immigration inspections conducted by the feds. You may recall that I have also written articles about having the I-9’s completed properly. Well, I am once again stressing the importance of ensuring that they are done correctly. We have had several employers who have been asked by other federal agencies to present their I-9’s for inspection (which means they are all working together). If you need our assistance we conduct I-9 audits. Let us know if you need us to review them and do not assume they are being done correctly!