If state Rep. Bill Galloway has his way, certain employers may be required to use the federal government’s E-Verify web-based employment eligibility verification system. Several states already mandate E-Verify, and the U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that an Arizona law requiring employers to use it is constitutional.
Galloway has proposed legislation that would require contractors working on publicly funded projects to use E-Verify to prove their employees are properly documented. Galloway alleges many contractors use illegal workers, paying them below-market wages and pocketing the difference. Publicly funded projects in the state are subject to prevailing wage laws.
Galloway recently highlighted his efforts with a trip to a construction site in his district. He and the foreman on the site engaged in a heated, profanity-laced exchange after Galloway asked if all the workers on the site were documented.
Similar legislation passed the House of Representatives in 2010, but the State Senate never took up the bill. Galloway is determined to try again.
Galloway has also asked Gov. Tom Corbett to use E-Verify for state employees.
Currently, the system is mandatory for federal contractors and in states where legislation require its use. Otherwise, the system is voluntary.