Judge Extends Restraining Order on "No Match" Letters

October 2, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A federal judge in San Francisco further extended on Monday the restraining order against a Department of Homeland Security regulation that would require employers who receive a "no-match" letter to verify the employment and immigration status of their workers.

According to the New York Times, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said he would rule on the matter within 10 days. Breyer strongly suggested that he was leaning against the government: “It is clear to me at this point there would be irreparable harm to the plaintiffs. It just seems to me looking at it that this is a potentially enormous burden on the employer.”

The “no match” letters from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or the Social Security Administration (SSA) verify the employee is an illegal alien not authorized to work in the U.S. The regulation  would have gone into effect September 14, 2007 and provides that employers will be liable if they fail to take “reasonable steps” within 90 days of receiving the no-match letter (See Final Rule Out on “No Match” Letters ).

The AFL-CIO filed a suit against the government on the grounds that the rule imposed obligations that were too burdensome on employers and that it would unfairly target employees working legally (See AFL-CIO Lawsuit: “No Match” Rules Too Burdensome ).

The extension on the ban follows a previous temporary restraining order issued on August 31 by U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney, of the same San Francisco court. Chesney’s extension prevented the agency from enforcing the rule only until October 1 (See Court Grants Temporary Restraining Order Against “No-Match” Letters ).