Remember Christina Caspersen-McPherson’s recent success in advocating for her client’s right to work BEFORE they receive their social security number? If not, click here to refresh your memory and find helpful resources.)
Employers – and some of us, too – continue to be confused about social security numbers. It’s a common belief that work authorized refugees cannot start working until they have received their social security number. This is NOT true.
The Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel (OSC) offers resources available to help you educate employers, including a full September schedule of new webinars. OSC can also communicate directly with employers to quickly resolve any ongoing reluctance to comply with U.S. law so that clients can exercise their legal right to work while their social security number is being processed.
Thanks to Christina’s example and continued OSC advocacy and education, Lutheran Services Carolinas achieved a similar victory last week.
Despite LSC advocacy efforts, a national employer was reluctant to risk paying a refugee without a social security number, despite LSC advocacy efforts to provide widely accepted solutions (entering zeros in payroll systems and new hire documentation.)
In less than 24 hours after requesting OSC assistance, the issue was resolved. Carly Fisher, Employment Case Manager with LSC reports that her client is now working and receiving a paycheck.
Two similar cases elsewhere in our network are currently being resolved and several refugees are likely to begin receiving paychecks earlier than anticipated as a result.
Thanks OSC. Thanks Christina. Kudos, Carly!