California GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman told KNX radio in Los Angeles on Thursday that she suspects the handwriting on a letter regarding the Social Security number of her former housekeeper is her husband’s.
Late yesterday, Whitman’s husband Dr. Griff Harsh said in a statement that he did not recall receiving the letter, but said “it is possible that I would’ve scratched a follow up note on a letter like this.”
“Since we believed her to be legal, I would have had no reason to suspect that she would not have filled it in and done what was needed to secure her benefits,” he said. “It is important to note what this letter actually says: ‘this letter makes no statement about your employee’s immigration status’.”
On Wednesday, Whitman had said “We never received that letter or that notification,” and earlier on Thursday, she had suggested her former maid might have intercepted the letter because she handled the mail.
As we previously wrote, the Social Security Administration website says that when employers receive a so-called “no-match” letter, they should make sure there was not a typographical error and ask to see the employee’s Social Security card to ensure they have the right information. If the issue cannot be resolved, they are supposed to ask their employee to contact their local Social Security office.
Documents provided by the Whitman campaign indicate that Diaz most likely lied about her ability to work in the United States legally.
Gloria Allred, a lawyer representing the housekeeper Nicky Diaz, said at a press conference that the law said it was up to the employer to make sure the employee had checked in with SSA. She claimed that the letter proved Whitman was a liar.
An immigration lawyer told TPMMuckraker that it could be the employment agency who is on the hook for not properly verifying the applicant’s status.
“Ordinarily, if an agency is paid to recruit someone, the agency should do the employment eligibility verification and the employer might not be required to do anything,” Angelo Paparelli said.
In a phone call with reporters yesterday, aides named Town and Country Resources as the placement agency that they used to hire Diaz.