The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has published a final rule rescinding the controversial no-match rule. Under the no-match rule, the Social Security Administration was required to notify employers when employees’ names did not match reported Social Security numbers, and employers were then required to investigate discrepancies between an employee’s name and Social Security number. Employers were required to take steps, up to termination of the employee, if affected employees were unable to show they are eligible for employment in the U.S.
The no-match rule, enacted by the Bush administration in 2007, had been subject to a successful court challenge by labor, business and immigrant-rights groups in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, where in October 2007 the rule’s implementation was blocked.
Explaining its decision to rescind its no-match rule, DHS determined to “focus its enforcement efforts relating to the employment of aliens not authorized to work in the United States on increased compliance through improved verification, including participation in E-Verify.” The E-Verify program is a free, Web-based system operated by DHS that compares information gathered on I-9 forms against federal government databases to verify employees’ work authorization. Since September 8, 2009, federal contractors and subcontractors have been required to use E-Verify to verify an employee’s ability to work in the U.S.
The DHS final rule, published in the Federal Register on October 7, 2009, rescinds the no-match rule effective November 6, 2009. 8 CFR Part 274a.
Impact: Employers are advised to verify that job applicants are eligible to work in the U.S. Although the Obama administration has made E-Verify the centerpiece of its workplace enforcement efforts, many employer groups, including the Society for Human Resource Management, criticize it as ineffective and inefficient. Despite DHS’ action and the ongoing debate over E-Verify, employers remain obligated to ensure that they do not hire or continue to employ individuals who are not authorized to work in the U.S.
Workforce Management, November 16, 2009, p.103 — Subscribe Now!
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.