E-Verify, one step at a time

By Jennifer Pawlak

Something we haven’t discussed yet (the “Royal we” that is…) is E-Verify! I’m sure plenty of you are aware of its existence, some are enrolled in it, and some are giving me this look right now:
There’s a lot to know about E-Verify so I’ve broken it up for you and will share over a few weeks. Today is the first installment.

Employer Mandate

What is E-Verify?

E-Verify is a (voluntary) step AFTER you complete the I-9. Here is the official “about us” definition from the government’s website:

E-Verify is a web-based system that allows enrolled employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. E-Verify employers verify the identity and employment eligibility of newly hired employees by electronically matching information provided by employees on the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, against records available to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“E-Verify is a voluntary program. However, employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that contain the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause are required to enroll in E-Verify as a condition of federal contracting. Employers may also be required to participate in E-Verify if their states have legislation mandating the use of E-Verify, such as a condition of business licensing. Finally, in some instances employers may be required to participate in E-Verify as a result of a legal ruling.” It is available in all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.

Who does it affect?

As stated above, E-Verify is voluntary (yes I’ve said that 3 times now), except in certain circumstances, including when your state or municipality mandates it.

Currently, employers in these states are under no obligation to participate in E-Verify (aside from federal contracts as indicated):

  • Alaska

  • Arkansas

  • Connecticut

  • Delaware

  • Hawaii

  • Iowa

  • Kansas

  • Kentucky

  • Maine

  • Maryland

  • Massachusetts

  • Montana

  • Nevada

  • New Hampshire

  • New Jersey

  • New Mexico

  • North Dakota

  • Ohio

  • Rhode Island

  • South Dakota

  • Vermont

  • West Virginia

  • Wisconsin

  • Wyoming

These states require E-Verify for ALL (or most) employers, regardless of federal contractor status:

  • Alabama

  • Arizona

  • Georgia

  • Mississippi

  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina