Homeland Security Recinds “Safe Harbor” Rule

On October 7, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rescinded its so-called “safe harbor” rule that had specified the steps and timetable employers must follow when they receive a letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) or DHS advising them that the names of one or more employees do not match SSA records.

Under the safe harbor rules, and employer would have to fire an employee, or risk Federal fines and/or prosecution if the discrepancy could not be resolved within the limited “safe harbor” time period.

Although the “safe harbor” rules will now not go into effect, DHS advises employers who receive such letters to to check their own records for errors, inform the employee of the no-match letter, and ask the employee to review the information and allow employees a reasonable period of time to resolve the no-match with SSA.

Damon Key Director David McCauley is tracking this issue.