A federal district court judge from the Northern District of California ruled that the government cannot use mismatched Social Security data to root out illegal immigrants from the workforce, declaring that such enforcement actions would do ‘irreparable harm to innocent workers and employers.” Judge Breyer issued a preliminary injunction temporarily preventing the Department of Homeland Security from beginning a program to punish companies that do not clear up discrepancies between their workers’ names and Social Security numbers within 90 days after receiving a letter from Social Security advising them of the discrepancy.What does this mean for employers? What should they do if they are faced with an employee’s name that does not match the Social Security Number? Employers have to tread lightly in California in summarily terminating employees because of discrepancies in Social Security numbers. Mismatched Social Security data could be evidence that someone is unauthorized to work, or it could also be caused by a typo or name change. If an Employer takes the position that an employee with a mismatched Social Security number is unauthorized to work and therefore should be terminated, the employer is looking for trouble.First, the new Homeland Security provisions place a burden on employers to comply with a new 90-day time frame for resolving mismatches. The scope of the rule would have staggering effects on employers, prompting them to develop costly personnel systems and fire workers who may be legally employed, thus exposing them to liability for wrongful termination. The liability exposure for employers summarily terminating employees with mismatched numbers could be staggering.Under California law all individuals who have applied for employment or who are or who have been employed in the State are entitled to all protections, rights, and remedies available under state laws, except any reinstatement remedy prohibited by federal law, regardless of immigration status. The law further provides that for the purposes of enforcing state employment and civil rights laws, a person’s immigration status is irrelevant to the issue of liability. No inquiry is permitted into a person’s immigration status except when necessary to comply with federal immigration law.All employers are required to have an employee execute an INS I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification and give documents verifying his or her legality to work. An employer complies with the verification requirements for document examination if the documents reasonably appear on their face to be genuine. An employer is not required to further investigate the authenticity of documents that meet that criterion. An employer is liable for accepting documents if the employer knows or has reason to know that the documents are false.In summary, if the employer knew or should have known, because of the availability of certain information, that the applicant alien held an unauthorized status and had no right to work, the employer will be held liable.The new Homeland Security provision basically takes the employer’s duty further than just asking for verification to work in the United States, but makes an employer an INS agent by requiring the employer to investigate the validity of documents presented for verification.Will employers begin to target certain ethnic and racial groups and systematically not hire them, because they are known by the employer as a group that receives mismatched social security letters? Even if a mismatch letter is sent, this does not give the employer the right to terminate. If an employer receives a mismatch letter, the employer should re-verify work authorization by allowing the employee another opportunity to present acceptable documentation and complete a new I-9. If the employee is unable to produce acceptable documentation, then an employer may be faced with termination of the employee’s employment to avoid penalties for ‘knowingly continuing to employ’ an unauthorized worker. However, if the employee presents the same documentation for a new I-9 and maintains the documentation he or she originally provided to verify the first I-9 is valid, an employer is still taking a substantial risk in terminating.In California, employers have been exposed to large monetary judgments because they use the mismatch letter as an excuse to get rid of employees who are foreign born, or want to take leave, such as pregnancy, after they are employed. Do not think a mismatch letter gives an employer carte blanche to exercise their authority to terminate, especially if the employee is a member of a protective class. It is time that the federal government adopts comprehensive immigration reform and work in partnership with American businesses to ensure compliance with reasonable measures which do not over burden the employer, especially the small business. As the law exists now, a mismatched social security number and name places an employer in a dilemma as to terminate or retain an employee, and when doing either, is faced with liability.
Are you tired of buying every new diet and fitness product that comes along and still struggling with excess weight and poor health? It is possible to make simple changes to yield major results, but not through fads or gimmicks. The weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. It preys on consumers who would like to find a quick way to turn around an undesirable situation. Their promises strike a chord, they peak your attention and get you interested in their product, pill or plan. People buy in the hopes that they can continue to live just as they always have except now, with the addition of this miracle item, they will achieve new results.That sounds a whole lot like the definition of insanity: Doing the same thing and expecting a different result. It just does not happen. Real change comes from EFFORT, not from miracle pills, products or plans. Now sometimes these items can help you achieve your goals, especially a product or plan, but you will still have to USE them. That is the big problem.The commercials get you excited that this is just what you have been waiting for. It shows you how it will solve all your problems and improve your life, but it never mentions that you will still have to put in effort. Effort is not exciting, it does not sell products and it is not what people want to hear.This is the rub, you must actually get on your new fitness devise and use it regularly, or you must actually follow the plan that you bought, to get the results promised. Even those magic pills list in the fine print to combine with a sensible diet and exercise plan. The truth is that you don’t need to spend more money to buy more stuff to help you lose weight or get in shape.Save your money and spend your time finding out why you don’t do what you already know would help you. This is the dirty little secret that people don’t like to talk about. Experts simply tell you eat less and move more, which is true and simple. But then why are people still not doing that? It is because of their underlying deeper issues.Step 1 is Awareness. Everyone has a story, a history with food, exercise and habits. This shapes your perceptions and influences your actions. Most people who are not living a healthy lifestyle have failed to address the deeper perceptions that are acting as road blocks. The first step in overcoming those hidden issues is to uncover them.This is not as hard as you might think. You simply begin to examine what past issues may have given you a negative perspective about the healthy living behavior that you struggle with. If you take the time to examine it, you will discover it. This begins your journey to building a new default habit.Step 2 is Evaluation. You must evaluate what you are getting from the old behavior. For everything someone chooses to do, there is a payoff. What is the payoff you get from that unwanted behavior? Learn that and you have found a valuable motivational tool that you can use to create a new behavior.Step 3 is Alteration. After you have evaluated the situation and determined your payoff, now known as your personal motivator, you can decide how you can alter that behavior so that you can meet that need in a healthier way. It is important to specifically choose how you will now approach this issue in the future. It provides purpose and direction.Step 4 is Exchange. Now that you have outlined your new approach and understand why you have chosen the alteration, you can create an exchange. You must replace the undesired behavior with the more desirable one. This still must meet the original need, but now in a healthier way. If it does not, you will not maintain the new habit.Step 5 is Consistency. It is not enough to only carry out the new behavior once and a while; you must practice the new replacement behavior consistently to establish a new default habit. Repetition is essential for permanent replacement.Step 6 is Accountability. The best way to maintain any change is to establish accountability, a way to be responsible for your actions. One of the best ways I have discovered came from Joy Bauer of the Today Show. She recommended a monetary system that is brilliant. You gather $100 of your own money and give to someone you trust. They become your accountability partner. Each time you successfully follow your replacement behavior, you get a set amount back. Each time you don’t, they get to keep that same set amount. Continue until that amount is gone and then start again. You can also work within a time frame to keep your goals on high priority. Play around with it, and clearly write out the rules at the onset. It could be just the motivation you need to make your new behavior permanent.
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