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Federal Contractors Must Use E-Verify to Confirm Worker Eligibility

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in Hiring,Human Resources

Employers doing business with Uncle Sam will soon have to begin using the government’s E-Verify Internet-based employment eligibility verification system.

President Bush on June 6 amended an executive order requiring federal contractors to use the program to verify that everyone hired during a contract term and everyone performing work in the United States on a government contract is eligible to be employed.

Executive Order 12989 affects all future federal government contracts, so companies bidding on government business now and in the future must be prepared to comply. The requirement to use E-Verify could affect as many as 200,000 employers.

E-Verify is an Internet-based system operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees.

Seven states currently require all employers to use the E-Verify system.

Just over 69,000 employers currently use E-Verify to determine that their new hires are authorized to work in the United States. DHS says employers have run millions of employment verification checks since 2007.

Of those queries, E-Verify automatically cleared 99.5% of qualified employees, according to a DHS statement.

E-Verify flags the remaining half percent for further checking by employers and the Social Security Administration. Many of those employees are eligible to work; simple clerical errors explain some mismatches that are easy to correct. DHS assumes that remaining workers whose eligibility can’t be established are in the country illegally.

More information on E-Verify, including how it works and how employers can register to use it, is available online.

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