Progressive Dairyman previously summarized a “client alert” by Kelly Fortier, an immigration attorney with Michael Best, on steps dairy producers should follow – and things they should not do – if they receive a no-match letter regarding an employee. Read: Social Security ‘no-match’ letters: What should you do?
In partnership with the American Dairy Coalition, Fortier is featured in a free webinar set for May 7, 1-1:30 p.m. (Eastern time zone), to provide best practice guidance on how to respond to these letters. Register here. Access to the archived webinar is also available by contacting the American Dairy Coalition.
Farm Credit East Knowledge Exchange
Other information resources are also available. An article authored by L.J. D’Arrigo, a partner and co-leader of the Immigration Practice Group at the law firm of Harris Beach PLLC, provides steps for dairy producers and others to follow if they receive an SSA no-match letter. The article is available on the Farm Credit East Knowledge Exchange website. (Read: They’re back: The dreaded SSA no-match letters.)
D’Arrigo advises producers to be aware that differences in Social Security numbers can result because of simple administrative errors, and employers should not assume the no-match implicates an employee’s immigration status or work authorization. Employers should review payroll records, W-4, Form I-9, Social Security number verification system (SSNVS) record, and any other documents in the employer’s file that contains the employee’s SSN to ensure the name and SSN are correctly shown on documents.
If an internal review confirms a no-match, D’Arrigo advises employers to:
- Provide written notification to the affected employee of the no-match letter immediately and request that they confirm the name/SSN reflected in the employer’s personnel records.
- Advise the employee to contact the SSA to correct and/or update their records.
- Give the employee a reasonable period of time to address a reported no-match. There are no federal statutes or regulations that define “reasonable period of time” in connection with the resolution of a no-match notice. In other contexts, such as E-Verify, however, SSA has held that 120 days could be considered reasonable for resolving an issue concerning right to work.
- Be consistent. Follow the same procedures for all employees regardless of citizenship status or national origin.
According to D’Arrigo, additional follow-up steps can include:
- To demonstrate good faith compliance, regularly follow up with affected employees and document efforts in resolving the no-match.
- Review any documents the employee chooses to offer establishing resolution.
- Submit any employer or employee corrections to SSA.
Further, he advises employers to avoid several actions:
- Do not attempt to immediately reverify employment eligibility through completion of a new I-9 form: this is employment discrimination.
- Do not require the employee to produce specific I-9 related documentation to address a no-match inquiry.
- Do not require the employee to provide a written report of SSA verification.
• The National Immigration Law Center has a recorded webinar (name and email address registration is required).
• NILC offers other website resources, including “Know Your Rights” and “Frequently Asked Questions.”
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- Email Dave Natzke