Verifying Employment Eligibility When Immigration is a ‘Hot Topic’

Feb 23 2017

U.S. PassportE-Verify is a free online system maintained by the Department of Homeland Security that helps employers determine if potential employees can legally work in the U.S. E-Verify helps employers ensure that details from an I-9 are truthful and accurate by comparing information from different records systems. Using E-verify is currently a VOLUNTARY option for many companies. However, recent legislation has been introduced by a senator from Iowa that would make using E-Verify MANDATORY for all companies in all 50 states. It would also require…

…companies to retroactively check employment eligibility for all employees within three years of the new legislation being passed. If it turns out you previously hired someone who is not eligible to work legally in the U.S., you’d be required to terminate them.

Right now, federal law requires all employers who hire federal contractors to use E-Verify. Companies in Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, and Utah are also required to use it. Florida and Texas have rules that require public companies to use E-Verify.

The good news is that technology has made it easy for employers to maintain compliance using ATS and onboarding systems that integrate with E-Verify. If you employ people who are here working on an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)—like a work visa or permanent resident card—E-Verify will prompt you to review employees whose work authorization documents are about to expire.

The existing E-Verify legislation expires at the end of April 2017. As immigration continues to be heated topic, this newly proposed bill has been met with a lot of controversy. Regardless of whether your company currently uses E-Verify, keep your eyes and ears open over the next few weeks to make sure you are prepared to take appropriate action if the new legislation is passed. If it doesn’t pass, it’s still wise to remain knowledgeable about the specific laws in your state to make sure your company remains compliant.

If you’d like to learn more about using E-Verify, click here.


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