Have you ever left the house only to later discover that your socks don’t match? I have!

While that kind of mismatch may be irritating, the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) recent return to a practice of sending “no match” letters to employers may prove even more troublesome.

The SSA has recently brought back a practice of sending letters to employers notifying them that the SSA has identified at least one employee whose name and social security number don’t match SSA’s records. These “no match” letters direct employers to register for SSA’s Business Services Online (BSO) tool and correct the mismatch within 60 days.

So, what does a “no match” letter mean? A “no match” letter simply reports an apparent error in either the employer’s records or SSA’s records, and seeks the employer’s and, if necessary, the employee’s assistance in correcting those records. It does not make any statement about an employee’s immigration status, and employers should not take adverse employment action against an employee based solely on receipt of the letter.

If your company receives a “no match” letter, don’t hit the panic button! A deliberate, well-informed response, with the assistance of counsel, will likely be more effective. The U.S. Department of Justice has provided this helpful checklist for employers responding to “no-match” letters: https://www.justice.gov/crt/case-document/file/1138471/download.

Now that we have that sorted out, where is that matching sock?!