Second Phase of Georgia E-Verify Law Requires Employers with 100 to 499 Employees to Comply by July 1

As part of the phasing in process for Georgia’s ‘HB 87 – Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011,’ the second phase of the law requires private businesses in the state “with 100 or more employees but fewer than 500 employees” to use the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system by July 1, 2012 to verify the legal work authorization status of newly hired employees to work in the United States. The full text of the law is available at: http://www1.legis.ga.gov/legis/2011_12/sum/hb87.htm.

The law amended Chapter 60 of Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions applicable to local governments, by revising Code Section 36-60-6, relating to issuance of local business licenses and evidence of state licensure. The law requires every private employer in Georgia with more than ten employees to register with and utilize the federal work authorization program known as E-verify and takes effect in three stages:

  • The E-verify requirement took effect on January 1, 2012 for Georgia private employers with 500 or more employees.
  • The E-verify requirement will take effect on July 1, 2012 for Georgia private employers with 100 or more employees but fewer than 500 employees.
  • The E-verify requirement will take effect on July 1, 2013 for Georgia private employers with more than ten employees but fewer than 100 employees.
  • Georgia private employers with ten employees or less are exempt from the E-verify requirement.

E-Verify is a free web-based electronic employment eligibility verification system from the government that checks employee information on the Form I-9 against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases. A December 2010 report from the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) showed that E-Verify immediately confirmed the employment eligibility of nearly 97.5 percent of 8.2 million new hires entered in the system during fiscal year 2009.

As previously reported in the ESR News blog ‘Georgia Governor Signs Immigration Enforcement Law Requiring Use of E-Verify for Employment Eligibility Verification,’ Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law the stringent immigration bill HB 87 in May of 2011 that required private employers with more than 10 employees to use E-Verify. The law also expanded police powers to investigate the immigration status of suspects, penalize those who transport or harbor illegal immigrants, and made it a felony to use fake identification to get a job.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 made it unlawful for an employer “to hire, or to recruit or refer for a fee, for employment in the United States an alien knowing the alien is an unauthorized alien.” The IRCA also requires employers to take steps to verify an employee’s eligibility for employment. In an attempt to improve that employment eligibility verification process, the U.S. Congress created E-Verify. While federal law mandates that federal contractors and subcontractors in all states use E-Verify, several U.S. states such as Georgia have enacted laws mandating E-Verify usage, creating a confusing patchwork of regulations.

A Designated E-Verify Employer Agent such as Employment Screening Resources (ESR) can help employers with E-Verify compliance. For more information, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.  To learn more about background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority’ and nationwide background screening provider accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) –  at http://www.esrcheck.com/, call 415.898.0044, or email customerservice@esrcheck.com.

Sources:
http://www1.legis.ga.gov/legis/2011_12/sum/hb87.htm
http://gov.georgia.gov/00/press/detail/0,2668,165937316_170988643_171299710,00.html
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11146.pdf
http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/2011/05/16/georgia-governor-signs-immigration-enforcement-law-requiring-use-of-e-verify-for-employment-eligibility-verification/

About Employment Screening Resources (ESR):

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check AuthoritySM’– provides accurate and actionable information, empowering employers to make informed safe hiring decisions for the benefit for our clients, their employees, and the public. ESR literally wrote the book on background screening with “The Safe Hiring Manual” by Founder and CEO Lester Rosen. ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percentage of screening firms. 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 Employment Screening Resources (ESR), visit http://www.esrcheck.com/, call 415.898.0044 or 888.999.4474 (Toll Free), or email customerservice@esrcheck.com.

About ESR News:

The Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at tahearn@esrcheck.com.