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This is not legal advice, which can only be given by an attorney admitted to practice law in your jurisdiction after hearing all of the facts and circumstances in a particular case.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Issue: Social Security No-match Proposed Regulation

A while back, I blogged about transitioning employees' changes in name and gender triggering no-match letters issued by the Social Security Administration, which can cause some distress for transgender employees.

A proposed new regulation will change Social Security Admin regs from a hassle into a major headache. The proposal states "There are many causes for such a no-match, including clerical error and name changes. But one of the causes is the submission of information for an alien who is not authorized to work in the United States and is using a false SSN or a SSN assigned to someone else. Such a letter may be one of the only indicators to an employer that one of its employees may be an unauthorized alien."

Under the proposal, failure to investigate the no-match letter may subject the employer to liability for employment of an illegal alien, unless the employer undertakes a rigorous investigation, including: requiring the employee to confirm that the employer's records are correct and, if they are, require the employee to pursue the matter personally with the relevant agency. Then, if the discrepancy is not immediately resolved, the employees must present to the employer the identity documents necessary to complete a new I-9, except that the employee must use photo documentation not bearing their Social Security number. That kind of documentation might be hard to find.

In these times of national security crisis, liberty bows to order. But this also means that transgender employees who are transitioning on the job had best ensure that they have their identity documents in order.

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