Pennsylvania to Require Mandatory Use of E-Verify in Construction Industry

Due Diligence

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

In September of 2019, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed the Construction Industry Employee Verification Act to prohibit the employment of unauthorized workers and to require construction industry employers to verify the Social Security numbers (SSNs) of employees with the E-Verify program.

The Act – which became law without Governor Tom Wolf’s signature on October 7, 2019 – will take effect on October 6, 2020. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry will inspect businesses for possible violations of the Act and refer cases to the Pennsylvania Attorney General for further enforcement action if needed.

Beginning on October 6, 2020, the Act requires construction industry employers in Pennsylvania to verify the employment eligibility of new employees through the E-Verify program and keep a record of the verification for the duration of the employee’s employment or three years, whichever is longer.

“Construction industry” is defined in the Act as engaging “in the erection, reconstruction, demolition, alteration, modification, custom fabrication, building, assembling, site preparation and repair work or maintenance work done on real property or premises under a contract” and includes work for public bodies or funds.

Employers found to be in violation of the Act must terminate the employment of each unauthorized employee, enter a three-year probationary period, and within five business days verify in writing that they terminated the unauthorized employee or else risk having each license held by them suspended.

E-Verify is an Internet-based electronic employment eligibility verification program administered by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the United States Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows employers to verify an employee’s work authorization status.

Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, all employers in the U.S. are required to verify the employment eligibility of all new hires by completing the ‘Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.’ E-Verify matches the information provided by employees on the Form I-9 to DHS and SSA records.

E-Verify is a voluntary program. However, employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that contain the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify Clause are required to enroll in E-Verify. Employers may also be required to participate in E-Verify if their states have laws mandating the use of E-Verify.

E-Verify is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands. As of October 2019, E-Verify has over 870,000 registered employers at more than 2.4 million hiring sites. To learn more about E-Verify, visit www.e-verify.gov.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check provider – offers a robust Form I-9 and E-Verify solution that simplifies verifying employment eligibility to help employers maintain legal workforces. To learn more, visit www.esrcheck.com/Background-Checks/Form-I-9-E-Verify/.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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