The American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) joined seven business organizations on a lawsuit filed last week, challenging the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) "Social Security No-Match" regulation that stands to significantly impact the horticulture industry.
The no-match rule, issued on Aug. 15, would require employers to take additional steps within a limited timeframe when they receive notice from the Social Security Administration that employees' names and social security numbers do not match. If the discrepancy cannot be resolved, employers are instructed to fire the employee in question or risk being held liable.
ANLA has joined the lawsuit in an effort to combat the added burdens that the regulation would place on the green industry.
"Asking small business owners to dedicate resources necessary to comply with these regulations during critical seasonal times, when we are struggling to secure and maintain a workforce, is not reasonable," said Dwight Hughes Jr., ANLA president.
The lawsuit is based on an argument that DHS is not complying with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), which states that government agencies are required to assess impacts of new regulations on small businesses and to seek less burdensome ways for small entities to comply with federal requirements.
The lawsuit will be considered along with a suit filed by the AFLA-CIO, ACLU and several other groups, arguing that the new regulation could result in many Americans being unjustifiably terminated due to errors in the Social Security Administration's database.
The delay in the implementation of the rule, which was supposed to take effect in mid-September, should give employers extra time to develop their plans for compliance.
Meanwhile, the ANLA stated in a press release that they will continue their efforts to compel Congress to enact legislative reform "that represent the only true solution to the mounting labor crisis and the needs of the green industry."
For more information about the ANLA and the no-match regulation, visit www.anla.org .