The state of Minnesota is once again requiring its big contractors to verify the legal right of their employees to work in the United States by using the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system that checks information from new hires against federal databases of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA), according to a report from Minnesota Public Radio. Already in effect, the new law requires private businesses providing more than $50,000 worth of services to the state to enroll in E-Verify and check the work status of new hires using the E-Verify system.
Minnesota Public Radio reports that former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty mandated E-Verify for government contractors in 2008 and ordered the state to run its new hires through E-Verify. After the mandatory E-Verify work eligibility check was dropped by new Governor Mark Dayton in April 2011, it returned in the state’s recently approved budget deal. However, unlike the previous E-Verify law that required state agencies to use E-Verify on all new hires, this new mandate does not extend to new state employees.
The new E-Verify requirement, which is already in effect, may catch some employers in Minnesota by surprise. More than 4,000 employers in Minnesota have used the E-Verify system, and federal officials say use is growing. A spokesman for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States – said 98.3 percent of the people whose names are run through E-Verify are immediately confirmed as eligible to work. Of the 1.7 percent of workers determined ineligible, 0.3 percent are later confirmed as authorized to work.
The resumption of E-verify requirements for large state contractors in Minnesota is yet another example of the growing patchwork of E-Verify laws at the state level and this hodge-podge of varying requirements can be confusing to employers. Currently, federal contractors and subcontractors in all states must use E-Verify and many U.S. states have additional mandates on the use of E-Verify by employers. A current E-Verify Legislation Map is available at http://www.trackercorp.com/everify-legislation-map.php.
Employers may choose to have a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent assist them in maintaining compliance with the E-Verify process. Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a nationwide background check company accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – is a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent that can help virtually eliminate I-9 form errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce. To learn more about ESR’s E-Verify services, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.
The Minnesota Public Radio report is at: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/08/19/budget-deal-brings-everify-back/?refid=0.
About Employment Screening Resources (ESR):
Employment Screening Resources (ESR) literally wrote the book on background screening with “The Safe Hiring Manual” by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. ESR streamlines the screening process and reduces administrative overhead though its proprietary technology solutions. ESR is one of a select few firms accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). This important recognition was achieved by successfully passing a third party audit demonstrating compliance with the NAPBS Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program. By choosing an accredited screening firm like ESR, employers know they have selected an agency that meets the highest industry standards. For more information about ESR, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com.