Court Ruling Confirms Federal Contractors Must Use E-Verify
Tue Sep 8, 2009
In an August 25, 2009 opinion issued in the case known as Chamber of Commerce of the U.S., et al. v. Napolitano, et al., the U.S. District Court of Maryland confirmed that all federal contractors must use E-Verify to make sure their employees are legally eligible to work in the United States. The requirement to use E-Verify had been imposed in June 2008 by President Bush via Executive Order 13464. The application of the mandatory rule was stayed after the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed suit to challenge the legality of the rule. A summary of the E-Verify Rule, its impact on federal contractors and additional resources are found below:
- E-Verify is an internet based system operated by the Dept. of Homeland Security/Citizen & Immigration Services that allows employers to verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired/current employees regardless of citizenship. E-Verify checks info against the information provided by the employee on his/her I-9 form.
- All federal contractors/subcontractors that are party to solicitations issued and contracts awarded after Sept. 8, 2009 must enroll in E-Verify
- All new federal contracts/subcontracts entered into after Sept. 8th must have a provision that requires participation in E-Verify
- If a contractor/subcontractor has already enrolled in E-Verify and it is awarded a contract after Sept. 8th, it will need to update it’s profile on the “Maintain Company” page once the contract has been awarded
- Once enrolled/profile is updated, all E-Verify users at a company will need to take a federal contractor tutorial that explains the new policies and features that apply to federal contractors
- Verification of employees through E-Verify is generally for new hires unless the company is registering because of it was awarded a contract on or after Sept. 8th and then, all current employees directly working on that contract must also be verified.
- A contractor and any covered subcontractors on a federal contract project have 30 days within the contract or subcontract award date to enroll in E-Verify
- A contractor and any covered subcontractors have 90 days from the date they enroll to submit verification inquires for employees already on staff who will be working on the contract. After the 90 days, employers must process an inquiry for newly hired employees within3 business days after the new employee’s start date.
- To meet these deadlines, employers may initiate verification of a newly hired employee before their start date (after the job has been offered/accepted) but pre-screen of job applicants is not allowed.
- Department of Homeland Security has indicated that it will increase the number of audits it conducts this following year and will be checking employers’ compliance with E-Verify so timely attention to this issue is highly recommended.
- Enrollment can be completed by visiting this website: https://e-verify.uscis.gov/enroll/