Tag Archives: employment eligibility

Supporters Say E-Verify Helps Employers Check Immigration Status of Newly Hired Employees

By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor

A member of the U.S. House of Representatives responding to an editorial in the Washington Post wrote that the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system helps employers check the immigration status of workers and maintain a legal workforce, and also that E-Verify can only be used on new hires and not for screening job applicants.

The January 22 Washington Post editorial, ‘The limits of immigration enforcement,’ focused on one of the world’s largest food processing firms that recently received a federal seal of approval for its hiring practices from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after officials from the agency checked employment records for just about every one of the more than 100,000 workers employed by the company. Although roughly a quarter of a million companies have enrolled in E-Verify – which is described as “a federal program that screens potential new hires for employment eligibility” in the 1/22 editorial – most companies seem reluctant to have existing workforces checked since the U.S. labor force contains an estimated 6 to 7 million undocumented immigrants.

The following response appeared in the Washington Post on January 27, in part to support use of E-Verify but also to remind employers that E-Verify can only be used after a job applicant is hired and should not be used as a method of background screening:

Helping employers check workers’ immigration status

Contrary to the Jan. 22 editorial “The limits of immigration enforcement,” the E-Verify federal program is not used on potential hires, as the editorial stated. It can be used only for newly hired employees. In order to prevent discrimination, the Web-based E-Verify program, administered by the Department of Homeland Security, prohibits employers from using E-Verify to screen potential hires. Rather, E-Verify is a tool to confirm that the information given on an I-9 form, which is required for every new employee, is correct.

As a former small-business owner in the restaurant industry, I found it frustrating that employers were expected to hire legal workers but were given no tools to do so. Since employers cannot be expected to be document experts, when I became a member of Congress I created E-Verify as a way to provide employers a simple, free and easy way to check the information provided on the I-9. Fifteen years later, E-Verify has exceeded expectations through the use of biometric data for non-citizens, is 99.6 percent accurate and continues to improve, expand and evolve.

Ken Calvert, Washington

The writer, a California Republican, is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Recently, a story in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) ‘Crackdown on Illegal Workers Grow’ told how ICE had announced that it was cracking down on larger companies that may employ undocumented workers. ICE conducted audits of more than 2,740 companies in the fiscal year 2010, nearly twice as many as the previous fiscal year, and levied a record $7 million in civil fines on businesses employing illegal workers, according to the WSJ.

Because of this, U.S. businesses are getting their employment records, particularly the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (“I-9 form”), in order. Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a background check firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – is also a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent that can help employers virtually eliminate I-9 form errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and maintain a legal workforce.

For more information on E-Verify Service from Employment Screening Resources (ESR), visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen and is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) . To learn more about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Sources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/27/AR2011012706723.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/21/AR2011012106497.html

http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/1101/110120washingtondc.htm

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703951704576092381196958362.html?mod=ITP_pageone_1

GAO Report Notes Improvements in Accuracy of E-Verify Employment Eligibility Verification System

By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor

According to a new report from the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) bureau has taken steps to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system used to check if workers are legally eligible to work in the country.

The report – GAO-11-146 Employment Verification (December 2010) – found that USCIS had boosted the E-Verify system’s accuracy by expanding the number of databases consulted to determine the legal status of a new hire and by establishing new quality control procedures that included making employers double-check information for employees found unauthorized to work in the U.S. and allowing E-Verify to automatically correct clerical errors.

More improvements to the E-Verify system mean that more eligible workers are being approved immediately. E-Verify immediately confirmed nearly 97.5 percent of 8.2 million new hires entered into the system during fiscal year 2009, while another 0.3 percent successfully contested their “tentative nonconfirmation” status. In addition, GAO found that the USCIS had taken more precautions to protect the personal information of employees.

Despite these improvements, GAO cautioned that “E-Verify remains vulnerable to identity theft and employer fraud.” Nevertheless, E-Verify – a free, web-based system that compares employee information on the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 against records in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases – is currently being used by at least 243,000 employers that ran more than 16 million queries in fiscal 2010, according to USCIS.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a leading background check provider to employers accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – is also a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent that can help employers virtually eliminate I-9 form errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce. For more information on ESR’s E-Verify Service, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen and is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) . To learn more about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Source:
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11146.pdf
http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20110119_5352.php?oref=topnews

Florida Governor Signs Executive Order Requiring State Agencies to Use E-Verify

By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor

Shortly after being sworn-in, new Florida Governor Rick Scott signed Executive Order No. 11-02 (Verification of Employment Status) that requires state agencies to use the E-verify system to verify legal immigration status of workers and check whether all current and prospective agency employees are legally authorized to work in the United States.

E-Verify is a free, web-based system operated by the U.S. government that enables employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of employees by comparing data on the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 against records in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases.

As explained in the following excerpt from the executive order signed by the Governor, Executive Order No. 11-02 requires state agencies to use the E-Verify system to verify employment eligibility of state employees and contractors:

  • All agencies under the direction of the Governor to verify the employment eligibility of all current and prospective agency employees through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify system;
  • All agencies under the direction of the Governor to include, as a condition of all state contracts, an express requirement that contractors utilize the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify system to verify the employment eligibility of: a.) all persons employed during the contract term by the contractor to perform employment duties within Florida; and b.) All persons (including subcontractors) assigned by the contractor to perform work pursuant to the contract with the state agency.
  • Agencies not under the direction of the Governor are encouraged to verify the employment eligibility of their current and prospective employees utilizing the E-Verify system, and to require contractors to utilize the E-Verify system to verify the employment eligibility of their employees and subcontractors.

However, as a sign that E-Verify is still not without controversy, Rhode Island’s new Governor Lincoln Chafee signed an Executive Order (also No. 11-02) ‘Terminating Illegal Immigration Control Order’ on his first day in office to rescind a previous order requiring the state and businesses to check the immigration backgrounds of workers using the electronic program E-Verify.

Florida employers that are contractors with state agencies should expect that Florida state agencies will soon take steps to:

  • Amend existing contracts to include the new E-Verify requirement, and
  • Ensure that the E-Verify requirement is part of future contracts.

Florida employers should investigate enrolling in E-Verify to ensure all employees with responsibility for Form I-9 maintenance and E-Verify administration undergo thorough training in Form I-9 and E-Verify compliance. Florida employers may also choose to have a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent help them maintain Form I-9 and E-Verify compliance.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a leading provider of background checks accredited by National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – is a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent and can help employers virtually eliminate Form I-9 errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce.

For more information about E-Verify, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php, read ESR News Blog posts tagged ‘E-verify’ at http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/e-verify/, and see the E-Verify State Legislation Map is available on the ESR website at http://www.esrcheck.com/State-E-Verify-map.php.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). ESR was the third U.S. background check firm to be ‘Safe Harbor’ Certified for data privacy protection. To learn more about ESR’s Leadership, Resources, and Solutions, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Source:

http://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/scott.eo_.two_.pdf 

http://media2.wpri.com/_local/pdf_files/chafee-e-verify-executive-order.pdf

ESR Background Screening Trend 9 for 2011: E-Verify and I-9 Audits Help Government Find Employers with Illegal Workers

By Lester Rosen, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) President & Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Editor

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Fourth Annual ‘Top Ten Trends in Pre-Employment Background Screening’ for 2011

Trend No. 9: E-Verify and I-9 Audits Help Government Find Employers with Illegal Workers

An October 2010 press release from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced record-breaking immigration enforcement statistics achieved under the Obama administration, which included issuing more financial sanctions on employers who hired unauthorized workers than during the entire previous Bush administration. Since January 2009, when President Barack Obama took office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – the principal investigative arm of DHS – has audited more than 3,200 employers suspected of hiring workers not legally eligible to work in the U.S., debarred 225 companies and individuals, and imposed approximately $50 million in financial sanctions, according to the DHS.

A summary of fines and penalties from ICE reveals that this surge in enforcement of a legal U.S. workforce included a 500 percent increase in penalties from worksite enforcement actions (over $5 million), a nearly two-fold increase in I-9 audits (2,200), a record-breaking 180 criminal prosecutions of employers, and the debarring of more than 97 businesses, compared to 30 last fiscal year, with average fines exceeding $110,000.

Due in large part to increased scrutiny on employers from ICE through I-9 audits – where employee information on Employment Eligibility Verification Forms (“I-9 forms”) is checked for accuracy by Government agents –  penalties from worksite enforcement inspections have increased recently. The following statistics from ICE compares Fiscal Year 2010 (October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010) with Fiscal Year 2009 (October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009):

  • ICE penalties from worksite enforcement inspections increased to $5,300,000 in FY 2010, up from $1,033,291 in FY 2009.
  • ICE criminally charged a record-breaking 180 owners, employers, managers and/or supervisors in FY 2010, up from 135 in FY 2008 and 114 in FY 2009.
  • ICE conducted more than 2,200 I-9 audits in FY 2010, up from more than 1,400 in FY 2009.
  • ICE debarred 97 business and 49 individuals in FY 2010, up from 30 and 53, respectively, in FY 2009.

These record breaking statistics show that ICE is focusing more on targeting the employers that hire illegal workers through the use of I-9 audits and investigations of their hiring practices. Now more than ever, U.S. employers must regularly review their I-9 compliance practices.

One of the trends that emerged in 2010 and should continue in 2011 is that employers will take steps to ensure they hire a legal workforce by using E-Verify, a free, web-based electronic employment eligibility verification system operated by the U.S. government that enables employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their employees by comparing data from the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 against records in DHS and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases. E-Verify is currently being used by more than 230,000 employers at more than 800,000 worksites, according to recent figures from DHS.

Currently, federal contractors and subcontractors in all states must use E-Verify. Many U.S. states have additional state or local E-Verify mandates for either all employers, state agencies, city employees, or have E-Verify legislation pending. A listing of E-Verify requirements can be found on the recently updated (November 22, 2010) online E-Verify State Legislation Map from Tracker Corp available at http://www.esrcheck.com/State-E-Verify-map.php.

Employers may choose to have a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent assist them in maintaining compliance with the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification process. Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent – can help employers 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 E-Verify, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is releasing the ESR Fourth Annual ‘Top Ten Trends in Pre-Employment Background Screening’ for 2011 throughout December. This is the Ninth of the Top Ten Trends ESR will be tracking in 2011. To see an updated list of ESR’s ‘Top Ten Trends in Pre-Employment Background Screening’ for 2011, visit: http://www.esrcheck.com/Top-Ten-Trends-In-Background-Screening-2011.php.  

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). ESR was also the third background screening company to be ‘Safe Harbor’ certified. For more information, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations and Business Development, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Most Up-to-Date E-Verify Legislation Online Interactive Map Announced

By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor

To help employers navigate the ever-changing landscape of employment verification requirements, Tracker Corp – developers of innovative Form I-9 software for compliance with employment eligibility verification laws and E-Verify – has announced in a press release the latest and most up-to-date online interactive E-Verify State Legislation Map that shows current summaries of all active and proposed E-Verify laws at federal, state, county, and city levels.

With E-Verify laws gaining momentum, and worksite enforcement “I-9 audits” by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reaching record numbers, employers need to understand their E-Verify compliance requirements now more than ever. Clicking on the image of each state on the online, interactive E-Verify State Legislation Map provides an instant description of the current active E-Verify legislation in that state, including relevant links about the specific E-Verify executive orders, bills, or ordinances.

E-Verify – currently used by more than 230,000 employers at over 800,000 worksites – is a free, web-based system operated by the United States government that enables employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their employees by comparing data from the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 against records in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases.

Employers may choose to have a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent assist them in maintaining compliance with the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification process. Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent – can help employers virtually eliminate I-9 form errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce.

For more information about ESR’s E-Verify services, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php and read ESR News Blog posts tagged ‘E-verify’ at http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/e-verify/. The E-Verify State Legislation Map is available on the ESR website at http://www.esrcheck.com/State-E-Verify-map.php.

Founded in 1998, San Francisco, CA-based Tracker Corp provides software for immigration management, I-9 compliance, and E-Verify used by many Fortune 1000 companies, hospitals, and universities. For more information, visit http://www.trackercorp.com/.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). For more information about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations and Business Development, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com. 

Source:
http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2010/12/prweb4840794.htm

Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Announce Anti-Fraud Enhancements to E-Verify Employment Verification Program

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Blog

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas have announced the expansion of the E-Verify employment eligibility verification program’s capabilities to include U.S. passport photo matching which will enable E-Verify to automatically check the validity and authenticity of all U.S. passports and passport cards presented for employment verification checks, according to a DHS press release.

Businesses using E-Verify – a free, web-based system that enables employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their employees – will now able to verify the identity of new employees who present a U.S passport or passport card for the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 by comparing data with State Department records. Approximately 10 percent of all E-Verify queries currently provide a U.S. passport to establish both identity and employment authorization in order to prove employment eligibility.

“E-Verify is a smart, simple and effective tool that helps employers and businesses throughout the nation maintain a legal workforce,” DHS Secretary Napolitano stated in the press release. “Including U.S. passport photo matching in E-Verify will enhance our ability to detect counterfeit documents and combat fraud.”

E-Verify – operated by DHS in partnership with the Social Security Administration – is currently being used by more than 230,000 employers at more than 800,000 worksites.

Now more than ever, U.S. employers must regularly review their Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 compliance practices. Since January 2009, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – the principal investigative arm of DHS – performed Form I-9 audits on more than 3,200 employers suspected of hiring illegal labor and imposed approximately $50 million in financial sanctions, according to DHS statistics.

These statistics show the Government has focused less on rounding up illegal workers and more on targeting the employers that hire illegal workers. To help maintain Form I-9 compliance and avoid I-9 audits, employers may choose to have a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent assist them in maintaining compliance using E-Verify. Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent – can help employers virtually eliminate I-9 form errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce.

For more information about the E-Verify Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification system, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php and read ESR News Blog posts tagged ‘E-verify’ at http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/e-verify/.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. ESR is recognized as Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) Accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). For more information about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Source:
http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/releases/pr_1289422305190.shtm

DHS and ICE Announce Record Figures for Fiscal Year 2010 Including 500 Percent Increase in Worksite Enforcement Penalties and Near Doubling of I-9 Audits

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Blog

Recently, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton announced that ICE worksite enforcement statistics climbed to historically high record numbers in Fiscal Year 2010 – from October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010 – with more audits of businesses than ever before and increases in prosecutions of employers who hired illegal workers.

According to a news release from the DHS, ICE – the largest investigative arm of the DHS – also removed more illegal aliens than in any other period in U.S. history, removing more than 392,000 illegal aliens, and nearly half of them – more than 195,000 – were convicted of crimes, including murder, sex offenses, and drug violations.

A summary of fines and penalties from ICE reveals that this surge in enforcement of a legal U.S. workforce included a 500 percent increase in penalties from worksite enforcement actions (over $5 million), a nearly two-fold increase in I-9 audits (2,200), a record-breaking 180 criminal prosecutions of employers and the debarring of more than 97 businesses, compared to 30 last fiscal year, with average fines exceeding $110,000.

Due in large part to increased employer scrutiny and several waves of I-9 audits from the U.S. Government, penalties from worksite enforcement inspections have increased in recent months. Here are the latest statistics from ICE comparing Fiscal Year 2010 with Fiscal Year 2009:

  • ICE penalties from worksite enforcement inspections increased to $5,300,000 in FY 2010, up from $1,033,291 in FY 2009.
  • ICE criminally charged a record-breaking 180 owners, employers, managers and/or supervisors in FY 2010, up from 135 in FY 2008 and 114 in FY 2009.
  • ICE conducted more than 2,200 I-9 audits in FY 2010, up from more than 1,400 in FY 2009.
  • ICE debarred 97 business and 49 individuals in FY 2010, up from 30 and 53, respectively, in FY 2009.

Since January 2009, ICE has audited more than 3,200 employers suspected of hiring illegal labor, debarred 225 companies and individuals, and imposed approximately $50 million in financial sanctions-more than the total amount of audits and debarments than during the entire previous administration, according to the news release.

These statistics show that in the past year, ICE has been focusing less on rounding up illegal workers and more on targeting the employers that hire illegal workers through the use of Form I-9 audits and investigations of their hiring practices. In April 2009, the DHS even released a ‘Worksite Enforcement Strategy Fact Sheet’ detailing the most common reasons why a company might receive an audit, as well as who can be targeted.

Now more than ever, U.S. employers must regularly review their Employment Eligibility Verification Form – “Form I-9” – compliance practices. To help maintain Form I-9 compliance and avoid I-9 audits, employers may choose to use the Government’s E-Verify system, an online Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification system that is used along with the Form I-9 to allow employers to check if an employee is legally eligible to work in the United States.

Employers may also choose to have a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent assist them in maintaining compliance in the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification process. Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent – can help employers virtually eliminate I-9 form errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce.

For more information about the E-Verify Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification system, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.

Sources:

http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/releases/pr_1286389936778.shtm
http://www.ice.gov/doclib/pi/news/factsheets/worksite_strategy.pdf

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Publishes New E-Verify User Manuals

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Blog

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released several newly revised E-Verify publications – including the popular E-Verify User Manual for Federal Contractors (M-574) and E-Verify User Manual for Employers (M-775) – that offer instructions for using E-Verify, an Internet-based system that assists employers with electronic employment eligibility verification of new hires and existing employees.  

Overseen by USCIS and the Social Security Administration (SSA), E-Verify is an online verification system that is used along with the Employment Elgibility Verification Form, or Form I-9, to allow employers to check if an employee is legally eligible to work in the United States. The new E-Verify manuals – while providing instructions on how to enroll in the E-Verify system, verify a work force, and steps to take after receiving a USCIS non-confirmation notification regarding an employee’s employment eligibility – also reflect recent changes to the E-Verify website and offer additional clarification:

  • Updates in the ‘M-775 E-Verify User Manual for Employers’ (September 2010) include guidance on determining an employee’s “Hire Date” for E-Verify – which determines the timing requirements for when employers are expected to complete Section 2 of the Form I-9 and E-Verify – and new Error Checking capabilities such as the unexpired document requirement.
  • Updates in the ‘M-574 E-Verify User Manual for Federal Contractors’ (September 2010) include guidance on the new E-Verify interface, FAQs, and instructions for federal contractors required to register for E-Verify due to the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) E-Verify clause in their contract.

To download the M-775 or the M-574 documents, visit the ‘E-Verify Publications: Manuals and Guides’ page on the USCIS website at http://www.uscis.gov/.

USCIS has also released a new ‘M-776 E-Verify User Manual for E-Verify Employer Agents’ since employers may choose to have a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent assist them in maintaining compliance in the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility process.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent – can help employers virtually eliminate I-9 form errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce. For more information about the E-Verify Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification system, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.

For more information about background screening, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Source:
http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=e2410f4752f0a210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=e2410f4752f0a210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD

Pennsylvania and New Jersey Forwarding E-Verify Legislation to Stop Employment of Unauthorized Workers

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Blog Writer

In an effort to stop the employment of unauthorized workers, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have introduced legislation for E-Verify, the web-based Employment Eligibility Verification System run by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

E-Verify lets employers electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees by comparing information provided by employees on the Employment Eligibility Verification form – or Form I-9 – against records in the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) databases.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently passed two pieces of legislation – HB 1502 and HB 1503 – that requires certain employers in the state to use E-Verify.

  • HB 1502 would require all state contractors and subcontractors to verify the status of new employees with E-Verify.
  • HB 1503 – the “Construction Industry Employment Verification Act” – would require all construction industry employers (regardless of whether there is any state contract or public funds) to confirm employment eligibility of new employees through E-Verify.
  • In addition, employers relying in good faith on E-Verify would be immune from sanctions under the both proposed Pennsylvania bills.

Meanwhile, New Jersey is forwarding E-Verify legislation by introducing bills – S1842 and A2600 – that prohibit employment of unauthorized workers and require employers with 100 or more employees to verify the employment eligibility of all new employees with E-Verify by December 31, 2010. Smaller employers have until December 31, 2011.

  • S1842 and A2600 call for statewide random auditing as well as complaint-driven investigations.
  • S1842 and A2600 require that employers terminate unauthorized workers and the attorney general or county prosecutor shall notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as well as local law enforcement of any unauthorized aliens.
  • Sanctions include penalties ranging from $100 to $1,000 per violation and loss of business licenses – possibly permanent revocation – depending upon the offense.

Along with the legislation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, many other states require or will require employers to participate in E-Verify in some manner. Some states – such as Arizona, Mississippi, and Utah – require all employers in the state to participate in E-Verify, while other states require only public or state employers or those contracting with the state to use E-Verify.

For more information about the legislation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey – and the increased worksite enforcement through Form I-9 audits – read the article “Pa., N.J. Move Forward With E-Verify; Will Feds Follow?” on The Legal Intelligencer.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a national background screening provider and authorized E-Verify Designated Agent – can help employers virtually eliminate I-9 form errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce. For more information about the E-Verify Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification system, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.

Sources:
Article: http://www.law.com/jsp/lawtechnologynews/PubArticleLTN.jsp?id=1202464369090&Pa_NJ_Move_Forward_With_EVerify_Will_Feds_Follow
PA Bill House Bill 1502: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=2009&sind=0&body=H&type=B&bn=1502
PA House Bill 1503: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=2009&sind=0&body=H&type=B&bn=1503
NJ SENATE, No. 1842: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2010/Bills/S2000/1842_I1.PDF
NJ ASSEMBLY, No. 2600: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2010/Bills/A3000/2600_I1.PDF

USCIS Clarifies Three-Day Rule and Hire Dates Used for Form I-9 and E-Verify

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Staff Writer

Since understanding the “Three-Day Rule” and determining the hire dates for completing Form I-9 and E-Verify are not always clear and simple for employers, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has added an important update to their E-Verify website that attempts to clarify both the definition of a “hire date” and the timing requirements for when employers are expected to complete Section 2 of the Employment Eligibility Form I-9 and when to E-Verify employees.

While there is much overlap between Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, and E-Verify requirements, USCIS addressed the “Three-Day Rule” as it applies to E-Verify after receiving lots of questions about what to select for the E-Verify hire date with the addition of the “Three-Day Rule” screen in the redesigned E-Verify website. According to the “Three-Day Rule” as explained on the USCIS website, an E-Verify case is considered late if an employer creates it later than the third business day after the employee first started work for pay.

According to the USCIS E-Verify website, to comply with the law for completing the Form I-9 and E-Verify:

  • The earliest employers may complete Form I-9 is after the employee has accepted an offer of employment.
  • The latest employers may complete Form I-9 is the third business day after the employee started work for pay.
  • The earliest employers may create a case in E-Verify is after the employee has accepted an offer of employment and the Form I-9 is complete.
  • The latest employers may create a case in E-Verify is the third business day after the employee started work for pay and the Form I-9 is complete.

Under these new guidelines, the USCIS has effectively extended the Section 2 and E-Verify deadline by a full business day, from three days to four since the first paid day of work is not included in the “Three-Day Rule.” For further clarification, the USCIS E-Verify website even gives the following example:

If the employee starts work for pay on Monday, the third business day after the employee started work for pay is Thursday (assuming all days were business days for the employer).  The first day the employee starts work for pay is not included in the three business day calculation.

In addition, the USCIS realizes the term “hire date” in E-Verify is confusing because its meaning can vary depending on when the employee starts work for pay and the date the case is created in E-Verify. In determining the E-Verify “Hire Date,” the USCIS suggests the following:

  • If an employee creates the case in E-Verify before the employee starts work for pay, then the E-Verify hire date is the date the employee created the case in E-Verify.
  • If an employee creates the case in E-Verify on or after the employee starts work for pay, then the E-Verify hire date is the date the employee started work for pay.

USCIS considers an E-Verify case late if an employer creates it later than the third business day after the employee first started work for pay. When asked why their E-Verify case is late, employers can either select one of the following reasons provided or enter their own:

  • Awaiting Social Security Number
  • Technical Problems
  • Audit Revealed that New Hire Was Not Run
  • Federal Contractor with FAR E-Verify Clause verifying an existing employee (This reason is displayed only to an organization enrolled in E-Verify as a Federal Contractor with FAR E-Verify Clause.)
  • Other (If this reason is selected, employer must enter a reason in 200 or fewer characters and should not include any personally identifiable or sensitive information such as Social Security numbers).

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) — a national background screening provider and authorized E-Verify Designated Agent — can help employers virtually eliminate I-9 form errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce. For more information about the E-Verify Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification system, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.

Sources:

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=c00b59cca6149210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=d4abfb41c8596210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD