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Food Packing Company Fires Hundreds in Southern California

Eastern Group Publications, Posted: Jun 09, 2009

LOS ANGELES -- Overhill Farms, the largest food processing and packaging company in Southern California, recently fired 254 employees for discrepancies with their Social Security numbers. Former employees claim that the Vernon, Calif. company is using discrepancies in Social Security numbers as an excuse to fire higher paid full-time workers and replace them with cheaper, part-time, non-union workers. Nativo Lopez of Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana called this the largest mass firing of workers by a company due to alleged social security number discrepancy. However, Social Security Administration Public Affairs Specialist Mariana Gitomer said the federal agency has no enforcement authority over what a company does regarding those discrepancies. Alex Auerbach, Overhill spokesman and Board of Directors member, said the Internal Revenue Service initiated the investigation and Overhill had to comply. Two hundred and fifty employees were given 30 days to provide valid Social Security numbers and when they did not, they were terminated, said Auerbach.

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