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
  • Tennessee

  • Utah

Public employers and/or contractors in the following states require participation in E-Verify:

  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas

Employers in Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Washington have local or municipal E-Verify requirements.

All PUBLIC employers in Idaho and Virginia are required to be enrolled in E-Verify.

Contractors in Colorado and Minnesota are required to participate.

In Louisiana, all private contractors who want to do business with a state or local public entity must use E-Verify. All private employers must either use E-Verify or retain copies of certain identity and work authorization documents.

And lastly, California and Illinois have either rescinded their requirements or the requirement time frame has expired.

What else?

Just for funsies, there are – more often than not – specific requirements within each of those subcategories, so before you think you’re clear of the requirement or subject to the requirement, check your state’s guidelines. Both SHRM and LawLogix have good resources for this. Your local Chamber of Commerce should also have information about E-Verify compliance.

Stay tuned for the next installment – E-Verify basics!

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