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President's Message

Dear GVC SHRM Members and HR Members At-Large,



by Frank Kerbein

For the first time in seven years, employers are receiving Social Security number (SSN) no-match letters from the Social Security Administration when it has discovered that the W-2 records submitted by the employer don't match the administration's records on employee names and SSN’s. This is a warning to employers to carefully check the employee's information. The problem could be as innocent as a typo or as serious as a stolen identity.

The letters don't include the names and Social Security numbers of employees with mismatched SSNs, as they had in the past. Employers must register online with the Social Security Administration's Business Services Online (BSO) to find out whose SSNs are mismatched. You can find information on how to this here.

If an employer learns of SSN mismatches and does nothing, then U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may consider the employer to have "constructive knowledge” that it has an unauthorized worker. But if employers take adverse action against an employee based solely on no-match letters, they may be sued for discriminating against the worker based on citizenship.

The Social Security Administration began sending no-match letters to employers in 1993. The George W. Bush administration issued a regulation that provided procedures for employers to follow when they received no-match letters and a safe harbor to companies that followed these rules. But the regulation was held up in litigation and rescinded in 2009 during the Obama administration. In 2012, the Social Security Administration stopped notifying employers about SSN mismatches. The Trump administration began sending the letters again this spring to strengthen the enforcement of immigration laws. The safe harbor, however, has been eliminated.

After receiving a no-match letter employers should:

  • Check their records for a clerical error.
  • Notify the employee of the mismatch.
  • Give the employee a reasonable period of time to resolve the mismatch with the Social Security Administration.

For more information or any questions, please contact:  

 Director, Center for Human Resources

The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
111 Washington Avenue | Suite 400 | Albany, NY 12210
Tel. 518.455.7180 | Cell: 518.527.0656

frank.kerbein@bcnys.org | www.bcnys.org


Sandy Whitmore, SHRM-SCP, SPHR

President, Genesee Valley Chapter SHRM



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