They’re back… The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently resumed issuing Employer Correction Request Notices, commonly called “No-Match letters.” Employers have had a reprieve from such letters since 2012 when the Obama administration suspended their issuance.
What is a No-Match letter? A No-Match letter is sent when the Social Security Number (SSN) on a W-2 doesn’t match what the SSA has on file for the individual. The purpose of the letter is to advise employers that corrections are needed in order for the SSA to properly post the employee’s earnings to the correct record.
What Not to Do
But, receipt of a No-Match letter does not mean that an employee is an unauthorized worker. In fact, the letter does not address the employee’s work authorization or immigration status. Nor does the letter mean that an employee intentionally gave false information. There can be a number of different reasons for the mismatch, such as typographical errors, unreported name changes, and inaccurate or incomplete employer records.
Employers cannot use the mismatch letter as a reason to take adverse action against an employee, such as suspending, firing, or discriminating against that individual just because his or her SSN or name does not match the SSA’s records. Any such adverse action could violate both California and federal law and subject your organization to legal consequences.
Keep in mind that California also specifically protects individuals who update their personal information, including name and social security number.
Steps to Follow
Employers need to follow specific steps to respond to the No-Match letter:
Above All Don’t Ignore the Letter
Failure to address a No-Match Letter, or take proactive steps to resolve the no-match, could lead to a finding by ICE that your organization knowingly employed unauthorized workers and hefty fines.
Have questions? CEA's experienced human resource specialists give you prompt and accurate solutions over the phone, by email or onsite.