By Dec. 1, 2004, all U.S. employers will have the option of using a phone-based system to check whether new hires have the right to work in the United States.
President Bush signed legislation (S. 1685) last month that expands to all 50 states a pilot program that allows employers to check employees' Social Security and alien ID numbers against a government database.
Employers must review such documents for genuineness to complete Employment Eligibility Verification Forms (I-9s) for each worker. That pilot program allows you to call an 800 number, provide the name and SSN (or alien ID number) to confirm the person's authorization.
Currently, that program is available only to employers in six states: California, Florida, Illinois, Nebraska New York and Texas. More than 11,700 employers in those states volunteered to check numbers that way. Under the new expansion, the program continues as voluntary for employers.