Yesterday the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a supplemental final rule regarding employers’ obligations upon receiving a "no match" letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA). (A "no match" letter states that an employee’s reported Social Security number appears invalid). The final rule is identical to the department’s previous rule, which was blocked from implementation by a California federal district court; however, DHS said it hopes that additional explanatory material provided in the rule will address the issues raised by the court. For more information, read DHS’s press release.
Under the final rule, the SSA will be required to include in all no-match letters information telling employers that they are required to resolve discrepancies or risk legal liability. The rule also provides employers with a "safe harbor" provision, which provides steps employers may take when they receive a no-match letter. DHS will not use anemployer’s receipt of a no-match letter as evidence to find that it violated the law by knowingly employing unauthorized workers as long as the employer follows the safe harbor rules. For text of the final rule, click here.
The final rule will not be effective until published in the Federal Register, and even then it will not go into full effect until the federal court lifts its injunction against the rule – assuming the court is convinced the final rule is lawful. Stay tuned to the Stoel Rives World of Employment for further updates.