Homeland Security may force companies to fire workers

The Department of Homeland Security has issued new rules that may require companies to fire certain workers. The rules come into play when the information that workers provide their employers doesn’t match the data on file with Social Security. Where this happens, the government can send the employer a “no match” letter, and the employer then has 90 days to resolve the discrepancy or fire the worker.

The idea is to reduce the number of people working illegally in the U.S. The Department originally issued the rules in 2007, but they were blocked by a federal court, which said they would impose unfair hardships on both businesses and employees in cases where there were errors in the Social Security Administration’s records.

However, the Department has now re-issued the rules, after changing them in order to answer the court’s objections. Social Security has developed a series of computerized error-checking procedures to cut down considerably on mistakes, the Department said. And the new rules contain specific procedures for employers to follow when they receive a “no-match” letter. According to the Department, employers who follow the procedures will have a “safe harbor” and will not get into any legal trouble with the government.