By Jason Fry
As an employer, you may be wondering if E-Verify is mandatory for you. Well, the answer is not a simple one. There are various factors to take into account, such as the states in which you operate or have employees. Additionally, the landscape is changing as Florida became the most recent state to require E-Verify for employers.
Before we cover these factors, let's start by defining E-Verify. "E-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information entered by an employer from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to records available to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to confirm employment eligibility," according to e-verify.gov.
E-Verify is mandatory for some employers and optional for many. E-Verify is required in some instances, including the following:
Currently, 22 states require that some or all employers use E-Verify:
Florida's new mandate became effective January 1, 2021. Public employers, contractors and subcontractors in Florida must use E-Verify. Private employers in Florida are required to use E-Verify or add some document retention steps to their Form I-9 process. If employers use the Form I-9, they must maintain copies of the documents used to complete the Form I-9 for three years.
Earlier this year Congressman Ken Calvert introduced the Legal Workforce Act, H.R. 78, which would make E-Verify mandatory for all employers. The plan calls for a gradual phase-in beginning on the date of enactment and subsequently:
Furthermore, the bill would raise penalties on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants in violation of the requirements of the bill. It also would create a penalty for individuals (employees or employers) who knowingly submit false information to the E-Verify system.
Finally, the bill would grant employers safe harbor from prosecution if they use the E-Verify program in good faith, and through no fault of their own, receive an incorrect eligibility confirmation.
Above all, Equifax can help you manage your E-Verify program. For example:
We help you navigate E-Verify.
In addition, we keep up with E-Verify.
Finally, learn more about how I-9 Management plus E-Verify from Equifax can help you take better control of your I-9 process.
The information provided herein is intended as general guidance and is not intended to convey specific legal advice.