In our previous blog, we speculated about whether the recent letters Alabama employers have been receiving from the Alabama Departement of Labor regarding alleged incorrect/invalid social security numbers was an attempt to enforce the Alabama Immigration Act. I decided to call the Alabama Department of Labor and inquire about the letter. Heres how it went:
I called Vivian Cooper who issued a letter to one of our clients. She was on the phone and the individual who answered the phone asked if someone else could help. I explained the subject of my call and she routed me to “Tony”. Here is what Tony said.
- When asked how the names/numbers were compiled, he said that they were pulled from kickbacks from their software system, and not the result of any interaction with the Social Security Administartion or other federal agency.
- Tony said that most of the discrepancies with social security numbers have been due to name changes.
- When I mentioned to him that we were seeing a lot of foreign nationals and Latinos/Hispanics on the lists, he said that citizenship status had nothing to do with the lists. I then asked whether Hispanic double last names could be causing the issue, and he said that is very possible.
- In terms of what to provide in response, he said either a copy of the social security card or the E-verify confirmation – there was no indication that both had to be provided. I mentioned that E-verify confirmation would only exist if the employer was an E-verify participate at the time of hire, but he did not seem to be very familiar with E-verify rules.
- When I asked what would be done if the social security card or number turns out NOT to be legitimate, he said that they had not figured out what to do about that yet. He said that some employers have turned in tenative non-confirmations from E-verify and they are wondering what to do with them.
- I then just asked him if this process has anything to do with the Alabama Immigration Act, and he said no. He said this was not about work authorization. Rather, it was just about cleaning up their records.
- I asked him if they have been receiving a lot questions, and he said they have received some but most employers were just responding with what they have.
So, it remains to be seen what the Alabama Department of Labor will do with the information it receives from employers and whether there will be an follow-up in the event an employer provides a copy of a social security card that the Department determines to be invalid. Well stay tuned.