Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Monday, June 12, 2006

No-Match Letter Safe Harbor Coming

Although it may make employers feel caught in the cross-hair between being sued for discrimination and criminal prosecution, news media are reporting that a proposed regulation that will give employers a "safe harbor" for dealing with "no match" letters should be out within a few days. The HR.BLR website has one of those reports in Homeland Security Proposes Rule for 'No Match' Letters.

The Daily Labor Report is reporting the new regulation will read like this:
If the discrepancy referred to in the no-match letter is not resolved, and if the employee's identity and work authorization cannot be verified using a reasonable verification procedure, such as that described in the proposed rule,... then the employer must choose between taking action to terminate the employee or facing the risk that DHS may find that the employer had constructive knowledge that the employee was an unauthorized alien and therefore, by continuing to employ the alien, violated [federal immigration law]. [emphasis added]
DHS to Release Proposed Rules On Proper Response to No-Match Letters (DLR 6/12/06) ($).

For information about no-match letters from the viewpoint of a worker advocacy group, check out Overview of SSA No-Match Issues on the Equal Justice Center website. The organization views one of its missions as keeping employers from "over-reacting" to the receipt of such letters, a job that may get a lot harder with the new regulation.

Update: For link to proposed rule see, Proposed Safe Harbor Rule For No Match Letters.

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