Two More States Pass E-Verify Laws, DHS Enhances E-Verify
Utah E-Verify Bill Signed into Law
On March 31, 2010, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill into law requiring Utah employers to use E-Verify to ensure their employees are legally permitted to work in the US. The bill passed both chambers of the legislature with large margins, making Utah the fourth state to require all employers to verify their workers (the others are Arizona, Mississippi, and South Carolina). Another 10 states require certain groups of employers, usually public agencies and contractors, to verify workers using E-Verify, and nine states have laws reinforcing federal law in other ways.
Using E-Verify becomes mandatory on July 1, 2010, and applies to employers with 15 or more workers. Employers of legal guest workers would not have to use E-Verify. There are no penalties for non-compliance; rather the state will provide positive incentives for compliance including exemption from penalties under state law should a company using a status verification system inadvertently hire an illegal worker. Also, the state will maintain a list of all those who enroll in the program, presumably to encourage the public to monitor which employers follow the rules and to reward them with their business.
Virginia House Passes E-Verify Bill
On March 11, 2010, the Virginia House passed HB737, a bill that requires all Virginia government agencies to enroll in and use the federal E-Verify program beginning Dec. 1, 2012. The bill was signed into law by Governor Bill McDonnell on April 11.
DHS to Enhance E-Verify, Publicize Information about Federal Contractors Enrolled in E-Verify
On March 17, 2010, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced three new initiatives designed to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the E-Verify program. The enhancements include:
- A new agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) that establishes a streamlined process for addressing potential cases of discrimination and employer misuse of E-Verify while formalizing protocols for referring matters that fall within the agencies' respective jurisdictions.
- A new telephone hotline for employees that offers information about the E-Verify process and assistance completing the Form I-9. Employees may also file complaints about possible discrimination or employer misuse of the E-Verify program using the new hotline. The toll-free number - (888) 897-7781 - is staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for those in the continental US, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Alaska and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Hawaii.
- Two new training videos explaining E-Verify procedures and policies, employee rights and employer responsibilities. The videos have been released to the E-Verify website as well as YouTube in both English and Spanish.
Click here to view the DHS press release regarding these enhancements.
DHS Plans to Publicize Information about Businesses Enrolled in E-Verify
The DHS also recently announced that it intends to make information about businesses enrolled in E-Verify available to the public. In accordance with the E-Verify Memorandum of Understanding, the following information may be publicly available:
- Business name
- Contact address
- Workforce size
- Whether the contractor verified new employees only or all employees
- Query volume
The DHS did not indicate how or when the information will be made available.
Verifications' E-Verify Solutions
Verifications' E-Verify solution helps you maintain compliance across your organization and reduce the time it takes you to process an E-Verify query - by up to 67%. Our product queries E-Verify databases to instantly verify new employees' U.S. work eligibility and can easily be incorporated into your onboarding process company wide, improving efficiency, consistency, and compliance in your processes. Step-by-step user guidance simplifies exception management while management alerts save time and eliminate worry by doing away with manual reminders for follow-up action items.
Federal contractors are faced with the daunting task of running hundreds, possibly thousands of E-Verify checks in a short amount of time because an employer's existing employee population also must be submitted through E-Verify. Verifications offers a solution to relieve your administrative headaches and ensure both your existing employees and new hires are "E-Verified" as mandated by Executive Order 12989.
Click here to learn more about how Verifications' E-Verify solutions can help you maintain compliance with E-Verify regulations.