Over twenty years old, the E-Verify system has grown from its humble availability in only five states to becoming a nationwide program used by over half a million employers. Though the E-Verify program is voluntary under federal law, many states and employers choose to mandate its use. Here are a few things to know for employers looking to incorporate the E-Verify system into their businesses.
E-Verify is a voluntary program for non-federal contractors. According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), it offers protection from potential civil and criminal penalties associated with employing non-authorized workers. However, this protection applies when creating a rebuttable presumption that they attempted to comply with federal law. Due to this, many employers choose to use E-Verify because it confirms the employment authorization of new hires and ties into the eligibility verification process (Form I-9)
An employer must first sign a Memorandum of Understanding to participate in the program. The memorandum specifies several points for employers to be aware of, such as the requirement to verify all new hires through the enrolled hiring site. In addition, the program is active only within three days of the employee’s hire date, and the employer must still complete Form I-9. Completion steps require List B documents with a photograph and must be submitted online. Finally, due to the complex terms and restrictions, the program allows employers to use a third party to process new employees through the E-Verify system.
After the information is submitted, the system will respond immediately with a verification of the employee’s eligibility or a tentative non-confirmation (TNC). A TNC indicates that the databases the E-Verify system uses were unable to find a match with the submitted information. For example, if the employee is a U.S. citizen, this will be the Social Security Administration’s database. If not, then this will be a database administered by the DHS.
After receiving a TNC, the employer must ensure the information is correct and inform the employee as soon as possible. If the employee contests the TNC, they must resolve it with the relevant agency within ten days. If the TNC is confirmed or the employee does not challenge the issue, the employer must terminate employment or potentially face fines between $550 and $1,100.
This is only a brief introduction to the program’s requirements. There are many more regulations to consider when implementing the E-Verify program. However, using an I-9 management system with E-Verify integration can make the process much more manageable. This integration will allow employers to manage their entire employment eligibility verification process in one location and provides help at every step.
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