Though the Obama administration has dropped the “no match” rule that created a safe harbor for employers who lay off workers whose Social Security numbers don’t match their names, the layoff route is still the route of choice for employers who get caught with illegals on their workforce.

Such is the case with American Apparel in Los Angeles. A recent audit found 1,600 employees who were illegal immigrants and another 200 with various documentary problems, including faked SSNs. According to the Los Angeles Times, the company will now lay off 1,500 illegal workers, while promising to consider rehiring them if they get the immigration status straightened out. The number represents 10 percent of the overall workforce.

Though it has dropped the “no match” rule, the Obama administration has actually stepped up workplace inspections for illegal immigrants, shifting away from the Bush administration’s strategy of conducting immigrant raids and rounding up illegals for deportation.

The result, however, is a string of American Apparel-like stories.

Employers need to stay in compliance with the provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 by certifying the work-eligible status of all their employees through use of the I-9 form (and in certain situations the E-Verify system). To help with the process of certifying worker eligibility, Personnel Concepts has developed a comprehensive but easy-to-follow I-9 Compliance Kit. Get yours today.