By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor
Shortly after being sworn-in, new Florida Governor Rick Scott signed Executive Order No. 11-02 (Verification of Employment Status) that requires state agencies to use the E-verify system to verify legal immigration status of workers and check whether all current and prospective agency employees are legally authorized to work in the United States.
E-Verify is a free, web-based system operated by the U.S. government that enables employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of employees by comparing data on the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 against records in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases.
As explained in the following excerpt from the executive order signed by the Governor, Executive Order No. 11-02 requires state agencies to use the E-Verify system to verify employment eligibility of state employees and contractors:
- All agencies under the direction of the Governor to verify the employment eligibility of all current and prospective agency employees through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify system;
- All agencies under the direction of the Governor to include, as a condition of all state contracts, an express requirement that contractors utilize the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify system to verify the employment eligibility of: a.) all persons employed during the contract term by the contractor to perform employment duties within Florida; and b.) All persons (including subcontractors) assigned by the contractor to perform work pursuant to the contract with the state agency.
- Agencies not under the direction of the Governor are encouraged to verify the employment eligibility of their current and prospective employees utilizing the E-Verify system, and to require contractors to utilize the E-Verify system to verify the employment eligibility of their employees and subcontractors.
However, as a sign that E-Verify is still not without controversy, Rhode Island’s new Governor Lincoln Chafee signed an Executive Order (also No. 11-02) ‘Terminating Illegal Immigration Control Order’ on his first day in office to rescind a previous order requiring the state and businesses to check the immigration backgrounds of workers using the electronic program E-Verify.
Florida employers that are contractors with state agencies should expect that Florida state agencies will soon take steps to:
- Amend existing contracts to include the new E-Verify requirement, and
- Ensure that the E-Verify requirement is part of future contracts.
Florida employers should investigate enrolling in E-Verify to ensure all employees with responsibility for Form I-9 maintenance and E-Verify administration undergo thorough training in Form I-9 and E-Verify compliance. Florida employers may also choose to have a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent help them maintain Form I-9 and E-Verify compliance.
Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a leading provider of background checks accredited by National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – is a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent and can help employers virtually eliminate Form I-9 errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce.
For more information about E-Verify, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php, read ESR News Blog posts tagged ‘E-verify’ at http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/e-verify/, and see the E-Verify State Legislation Map is available on the ESR website at http://www.esrcheck.com/State-E-Verify-map.php.
Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). ESR was the third U.S. background check firm to be ‘Safe Harbor’ Certified for data privacy protection. To learn more about ESR’s Leadership, Resources, and Solutions, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com.