In March 2019, the Social Security Administration resumed issuance of Employer Correction Request Notices, commonly referred to as “Social Security No-Match Letters.”
The No-Match Letters are being sent to businesses throughout the country that are identified as having a name and Social Security Number (SSN) combination submitted on wage and tax statement (Form W-2) that do not match SSA records. Employers may recall receiving these notices until 2012 when the Obama administration suspended these communications.
Employers receiving No-Match Letters in 2019 must take proper steps in addressing the request. Most importantly, employers should not assume that a No-Match Letter is proof of an unauthorized or undocumented worker; likewise, an employer cannot use the letter alone as a basis to take adverse action against an employee.
Upon receipt of a No-Match Letter, an employer should take the following initial steps :
- CHECK the reported no-match information against its personnel records.
- If the reported discrepancy cannot be resolved, INFORM the employee of the letter and ask the employee to confirm his or her name/SSN.
- If the discrepancy still exists, ADVISE the employee, in writing, to contact the SSA to correct and/or update his or her SSA records and give the employee a reasonable period of time to resolve it.
- SUBMIT corrections to the SSA.
- If the employee does not respond or act to resolve the issue, CONTACT immigration counsel to discuss next steps and document a continued proactive response.
An employer’s failure to address a No-Match Letter and/or failure to follow-up with an employee and their progress towards resolving the no-match could lead to a finding by ICE of constructive knowledge of employing unauthorized workers.
Additionally, it is worth noting during an ICE Form I-9 Audit, the Notice of Inspection usually requests employer records concerning receipt of No-Match Letters and evidence as to how the company responded to the letter(s).
The reintroduction of No-Match Letters is a reminder for employers across the country in all industries of the need to ensure accurate records for wage-reporting and Forms I-9.
If you have any questions or wish to discuss strategy and response to a No-Match Letter and proactive steps to remediate Forms I-9, contact Ali Brodie at 303.446.3846 or firstname.lastname@example.org or any member of Fox Rothschild’s Immigration Practice Group.