Effective March 22, 2011, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has resumed sending out No-match letters to employers. No-match letters are issued by the SSA if an employee’s name or other personal information does not correspond to a valid Social Security number. The SSA’s resumption of sending No-Match letters to employers ends a long break since a No-match safe harbor provision (which was rescinded in 2009) was challenged in 2007 by unions and business groups in federal court. More after the break.
The SSA’s new letter states that the employer is not required to respond to the SSA. However, the letter advises employers that the SSA may share the information that it receives with the Department of Justice or Internal Revenue Service. The No-match letter further warns employers that receipt of a No-match letter is not a basis, in and of itself, to take adverse employment action against an employee.
Receipt of a No-match letter puts employers on notice of possible discrepancies that must be investigated. Employers should develop standard policies and procedures to address SSA No-match letters and implement such policies and procedures in a consistent, non-discriminatory manner.