California May Restrict Use of E-Verify Employment Eligibility Verification System with Employment Acceleration Act

Going against a national trend of some U.S. cities and states requiring the use of the federal E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system, California may restrict the use of E-Verify under the Employment Acceleration Act, according to a report ‘State poised to restrict use of E-Verify database’ from California Watch. The act would not allow state and local governments to require California businesses to use the E-Verify system to check if newly hired workers are legally eligible to work in the United States (Update: Governor Brown Signs Two Bills Impacting Use of Credit Reports and E-Verify by Employers in California).

Introduced by Assemblyman Paul Fong (D-Mountain View), the bill “would prohibit the state, or a city, county, city and county, or special district, from requiring an employer other than one of those government entities to use an electronic employment verification system except when required by federal law or as a condition of receiving federal funds.” The bill was passed by the state Senate and currently awaits the signature of Governor Jerry Brown, California Watch reports. However, the act would conflict with the Legal Workforce Act, currently pending in the U.S. House of Representatives, that would require the use of E-Verify by all American employers. If passed, the act would conflict with laws at the local level in California mandating the use of the E-Verify system.

The act would add Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 2811) to Chapter 2 of Division 3 of the Labor Code, relating to employment:

Article 2.5.  Electronic Employment Verification Systems

   2811.  This article shall be known and may be cited as the Employment Acceleration Act of 2011.
   2812.  Except as required by federal law, or as a condition of receiving federal funds, neither the state nor a city, county, city and county, or special district shall require an employer to use an electronic employment verification system, including under the following circumstances:
   (a) As a condition of receiving a government contract.
   (b) As a condition of applying for or maintaining a business license.
   (c) As a penalty for violating licensing or other similar laws.
   2813.  For purposes of this article, the following terms have the following meanings:
   (a) “Electronic employment verification system” means an employment verification system that allows employers to electronically verify workers’ employment authorization with the federal government. This includes the Basic Pilot Program, enacted by Section 404 of Public Law 104-208 and renamed in 2007 as the E-Verify Program, and other pilot programs for electronic employment
eligibility confirmation. The term “electronic employment verification system” does not include the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form or any other employment eligibility systems that are required by federal law.
   (b) “Employer” means an employer other than the state, or a city, county, city and county, or special district.

To read the Employment Acceleration Act, visit:

To read the Legal Workforce Act, visit:

For more information about background checks, visit:

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