Congress debates making E-Verify obligatory

Congress is examining a bill that would make the E-Verify process mandatory for all employers.

June 17, 2011
congress, e-verify, legal employment

Congress is examining a bill that would make the E-Verify process mandatory for all employers, according to HR Morning.

The Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2164) was introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX). The House Immigration Subcommittee held a hearing on the proposal on June 15.

Bill attempts to ensure legal eligibility of all workers

According to a press release, the new bill would:

  • Replace the current paper-based I-9 system with a completely electronic eligibility check
  • Phase in mandatory E-Verify participation for new hires in six month increments beginning on the date of enactment.
  • Within six months of enactment, businesses having more than 10,000 employees are required to use E-Verify.  Within 12 months after enactment, businesses having 500 to 9,999 employees are required to use E-Verify. Within 18 months after enactment, businesses having 20 to 499 employees must use E-Verify.  And within 24 months after enactment, businesses having 1 to 19 employees must use E-Verify.
  • Require that employees performing “agricultural labor or services” would only subject to an E-Verify check within 36 months of the date of enactment.  Under the bill, an individual engaged in seasonal agricultural employment would not be considered a new hire if the individual starts work with an employer for whom they have previously worked.
  • Preempt state laws mandating E-Verify use for employment eligibility purposes but retains the ability of states and localities to condition business licenses on the requirement that the employer use E-Verify in good faith under the federal law.
  • Grant employers safe harbor from prosecution if they use the E-Verify program in good faith, and through no fault of theirs, receive an incorrect eligibility confirmation.

For more information: http://www.hrmorning.com/congress-mulling-making-e-verify-a-requirement/

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