In another effort to make the lives of undocumented immigrants unbearable, the Trump administration, via the Social Security Administration (SSA), has been sending more than 570,000 communications to businesses across the country of the so-called ‘no-match letters”.
This actions started in the Spring of 2019, as reported by the New York Times. Read the article here.
In a few words, the no-match letter indicates discrepancies between the SSA records, the name of the person and the social security numbers listed on an employee’s Form W‑2. The no-match letter may list one or more workers whose personal information does not match SSA’s records.
These letters are causing anxiety to businesses in the hospitality, agricultural and construction industries, in a time of high employment.
Is important to note that many employers may have employees listed in the no-match letter sent by SSA, but that are authorized to work. Therefore this issue needs to be treated with care and professionalism, to clarify errors and follow the right steps to deal with a no-match. Additionally, a worker’s inclusion in a no-match letter does not provide information about the worker’s immigration status.
We at Marcos E. Garciaacosta Law Group have experience dealing with these situations and expertise in the intersection of immigration and business.
Here are our recommendations for employers dealing with a no-match list:
1.-Do not panic or take immediate action. As explained before, the no-match may be due to a misspelling, change of legal names such as marriage or divorce or other situation that needs to be clarified and corrected. Do not fire your worker.
2.-Review the employee’s name and SSN information submitted on the Form W‑2 and provide any necessary corrections on the Form W2-C within 60 days of receiving the no-match.
3.-Give the employee reasonable time to make corrections to the information submitted on the Form W-2. “A reasonable amount of time” is not defined by statute in the SSA, but 120 days is likely good amount of time.
4-Express to your employees the importance of clarifying and correcting the no-match situation.
5.-The employers should not take adverse actions against the employee but the employee that cannot make this correction or updating on time may choose to voluntarily leave the work.
Why is important for employers to correct this matter? Although SSA does not share this information with The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is important to note that employers must do their best to file the corrections to the no match list. If the SSN any of the workers gave the employer is not theirs, the worker in question should not provide that same SSN to the employer as part of a no-match inquiry or subsequent verification of employment eligibility. Giving wrong information to authorities exposes the employee to federal criminal liability, especially in Arizona.
If you have this situation in your workplace and want the guidance of an attorney with immigration and business experience, please make an appointment to consult with Marcos E. Garciaacosta, Esq. at (480) 324-6378.