"No Match" Letters from Social Security Re-Issued

“No Match” letters from the Social Security Administration are being issued again according to a news alert sent out by Fisher & Phillips, LLP. I reviewed theĀ  Social Security Administration website for information on “No Match” letters to see if I could find an update, but nothing has been posted yet. They still say that the 2007 court ruling is still in effect. But Fisher & Phillips are pretty “Johnny on the spot” so I am going to go with what they say.
According to the F & P announcement “If you receive an SSA No-Match letter, the SSA instructs you to:

  • check your records to see if there is a discrepancy in the records submitted to SSA;
  • ask the employee to check his or her records to determine if the information was accurately recorded/reported;
  • instruct the employee to contact the SSA to resolve any discrepancy;
  • provide the employee a reasonable amount of time to resolve the discrepancy; and
  • document your efforts to resolve the matter.”

You cannot use the letter as a basis for ANY adverse action against the employee. You are not even required to respond to the letter. Also according to the F & P alert :

“The SSA, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Office of Special Counsel provide no additional guidance for an employer’s obligations upon receipt of a No-Match letter. These agencies all appear to take the position that a No-Match letter is not evidence that the employee is unauthorized to work. They do not offer any clarification of what would be considered “a reasonable amount of time” to resolve the discrepancy, nor what to
do if the employee is unable to resolve the discrepancy.”

Another example of government at work. Make a rule but don’t provide us with any guidance on what to do with it. So we have to store more paperwork and be somewhat concerned about what eventually may happen with these letter. Fisher & Philllips did provide a piece of advice that would be good for all of us to heed. They suggested “We recommend that you develop standard policies and procedures to address issues raised in SSA No-Match letters and implement them in a non-discriminatory way.” So HR folks get out your pen, draft a policy and then document, document, document.

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