North Carolina E-Verify Law Requires Use by Employers with 500 or More Employees Starting October 1

A law enacted by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2011 that requires businesses in the state with 25 or more employees to use the federal E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification program to verify the work authorization of newly hired employees will continue to be phased in over the next year, and employers with 500 or more employees will be required to use E-Verify beginning October 1, 2012. The full text of House Bill 36 (H.B. 36) “An Act To Require Counties, Cities, And Employers To Use The Federal E-Verify Program To Verify The Work Authorization Of Newly Hired Employees” is available at:

H.B. 36 contains a requirement that employers use E-Verify, a free internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows participating employers to verify the employment eligibility of new employees hired to work in the United States. The law also contains a new system for reporting complaints regarding violations and penalties for non-compliance. H.B. 36 will be phased in according to the following schedule:

  • October 1, 2012, for employers that employ 500 or more employees.
  • January 1, 2013, for employers that employ 100 or more but less than 500 employees.
  • July 1, 2013, for employers that employ 25 or more but less than 100 employees.

As reported previously in the ESR News blog ‘North Carolina Passes Law Phasing In Mandatory Use of E-Verify by Employers,’ Governor Beverly Perdue signed H.B. 36 requiring cities, counties, and businesses in the state use E-Verify. Since October 1, 2011, counties and municipalities in North Carolina were required to use E-Verify, and each county and municipality was required to register and participate in E-Verify to verify the work authorization of new employees hired to work in the United States.

Under H.B. 36, businesses employing non-employment-authorized individuals would face the following penalties:

  • The first violation will result in a civil penalty of $10,000.
  • The second violation will result in a civil penalty of $1,000, regardless of the number of required employee verifications the employer has failed to make.
  • The third or subsequent violation will result in a civil penalty of $2,000 for each required employee verification that the employer has failed to make.

The law also requires employers to retain records of its E-Verify verification of work authorization as long as the E-Verify authorized worker remains employed, and for one year after. The full text of House Bill 36 is available at:

E-Verify allows employers to determine the eligibility of employees to work in the U.S. in a matter of seconds by comparing information from the ‘Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification’ with records in DHS and SSA databases. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), more than 353,000 employers use E-Verify at nearly 900,000 worksites, and approximately 1,200 new businesses sign up for the program each week.

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.” Federal law requires every employer hiring an individual for employment in the U.S. to verify his or her identity and employment authorization through completion of a Form I-9. In an attempt to improve the 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 have also enacted laws mandating E-Verify usage, creating a confusing patchwork of regulations for employers to follow. A Designated E-Verify Employer Agent can help employers with Form I-9 and E-Verify compliance. To learn more, visit

For information about background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority’ and a nationwide background screening firm accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) – at, call 415.898.0044, or email


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