E-Verify started as a pilot program in 1997 to help employers verify the work authorization of new hires. When you have an employee complete a USCIS Form I-9, you are taking the word of the employee and the face value of the documents they provide. E-Verify allows you to confirm the provided documentation against multiple government databases.
All employers must first complete an I-9 form for every new hire, within three business days of the date the employee starts work. Employers must not begin the I-9 process until after the individual is hired. The newly-hired employee jointly completes the I-9 form by choosing from several documents to prove identity and authorization to work, such as a U.S. passport, or a combination of a driver’s license and social security card. Any documents produced by the employee must appear genuine.
The employer then enters the information provided on the I-9 form into the E-Verify system, where it is compared against about a half billion records in the Social Security Administration database and 80 million records in the Department of Homeland Security’s immigration database. Most inquiries are returned within 3 days. In the event of a non-confirmation notice, the employee must visit a SSA office or call DHS, and the employee has eight federal work-days to start resolving the case. Only about half of those who receive a non-confirmation notice contest it.
While the accuracy of the database has improved substantially, the error rate was too high for it to become a federally mandated program. Although, as of Sept. 8, 2009, federal contractors or subcontractors are required to use E-verify to determine employment eligibility of employees performing direct work on the contract and new hires.
Several state have now passed mandatory E-Verify laws that require businesses to confirm the eligibility of newly hired employees.
Alabama – HB56 pass in 2011, effective April 2012
Arizona – HB 2779/HB 2745 passed in 2007, effective January 2008
Georgia – SB 529/HB 87 passed in 2006, effective July 2013 – Private employers with more than 10 employees and state contractors
Mississippi – SB 2988 passed in 2008, effective July 2011
Missouri – HB 1549 passed in 2008
Nebraska – LB 403 passed in 2009, effective October 2009 – Employers receiving state tax incentives and public contractors
North Carolina – HB 318/SB 1523/HB 36 passed in 2015/2006/2011, effective July 2013 – Private employers with 25 or more employees and state contractors/sub-contractors
Rhode Island – Executive order effective March 2008 – Public employers – repealed in 2011
South Carolina – HB 4400/SB20 passed in 2008, effective July 2010
Tennessee – HB 1378/SB 1965 passed in 2011, effective 2017 – Private employers with 50 or more employees
Utah – SB 81/SB251/HB 117 passed in 2008, effective July 2009 – Private employers with 15 or more employees and public works contractors
Colorado – HB 1343/SB 193 passed in 2006
Florida – Executive order 11-02 effective January 2011
Idaho – Executive order 2009-10 effective May 2009
Indiana – SB 590 passed in 2011
Louisiana – HB 342/HB 646 passed in 2011
Michigan – HB5365 passed 2012
Minnesota – Executive order effective January 2008 – Contractors with a contract >$50,000
Oklahoma – HB 1804 passed in 2007
Pennsylvania SB 627 passed in 2011, effective January 2013
Texas – Executive order effective December 2014, effective September 2015
Virginia – HB 737/HB 1859 passed in 2010/2011, effective December 2012. Contractors with an average of 50 or more employees with a contract of >$50,000
West Virginia – SB 659 passed 2012, effective June 2012 – Contractors who regularly work on state capitol grounds
Two states, California and Illinois have taken an adverse approach and actually limit the use of E-verify by prohibiting states and localities from requiring employers to use the program.
*As you can see from each state passing their own laws, and for that matter multiple laws, you should check with any states in which you have employees to confirm you are complying with the most up to date regulation.
Enrolling in E-Verify is easy and free and can be accessed at the U.S Citizenship and Immigration services website https://www.e-verify.gov/employers/enrolling-in-e-verify
For users of our PayMaster HCM system, we have the ability to connect into the E-Verify system to perform verification with just a few clicks from the Employee Information screen. Contact us for more information.