"Employers Need Clarity on Employment Verification"

U.S. News

​​HR Magazine, June 1, 2011 - 

"Clearer guidance from the Social Security Administration (SSA) would go a long way toward preventing the hiring of unauthorized and illegal workers, Austin T. Fragomen, chairman of the American Council on International Personnel, recently told the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security. He testified April 14 on behalf of a coalition led by the Society for Human Resource Management and the council. 

​"The hearing examined the employment verification systems available for employer use, including the largely voluntary, free, Internet based E-Verify system that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the SSA. In addition, the hearing focused on potential burdens to employees, employers and the SSA; exam​ined E-Verify's shortcomings; and generated suggestions on improving the verification process.

Employers that obey the law but find that they have hired unauthorized workers want 'a true safe harbor,' Fragomen said. Currently, they lack clear guidance on how to proceed when informed that an employee's Social Security number does not match government records. Additionally, there is no assurance when it does match that the employers are not victims of identity fraud, he noted.

​It is important, Fragomen said, to protect the rights of workers 'who are legally in the workforce, regardless of appearance, accent or citizenship status.'"​