Union Says UPS Fired 280, Some U.S. Citizens

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CHICAGO--The United Parcel Service is applying E-Verify to all their workforce to verify their legal status to work in the country, but Teamsters union local 705 said the company has used E-Verify to fire 280 employees in Chicago and suburbs, reported La Raza.

The Teamster's union said the company was using E-verify, a federal program that allows employers to match a worker’s name with her or his Social Security number, to check eligibility to work.

Some of the workers that could be fired are U.S. citizens, according to the newspaper. Among them is Karen Rivera, a UPS employee for over 24 years, who changed her last name after getting married and was incorrectly mismatched by the system.

Since 2009, the federal government implemented a new rule that amended the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), making it mandatory for any company that has a contract with the federal government to use this system. Modifications to the regulations also required employers to conduct checks on current employees, not just new hires.

UPS told La Raza that they re-verified about 340,000 workers across the country. UPS spokesperson Norman Black said he was not aware of how many workers were terminated because of mismatches revealed by E-Verify. Black said employees who didn’t pass the E-verify check will have to present proper documentation to show they can work to clarify the situation in cases in which they changed their names, for example.

In the past the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found several deficiencies on the E-verify database. GAO discovered that it couldn’t confirm the validity of 7 percent of work permits through the Social Security Administration files and 1 percent of those in the immigration database.