Adding to the recent changes in laws regarding the use of employment credit checks and E-Verify by employers in the Golden State, California Governor Jerry Brown has approved Senate Bill 459 (SB 459) that enacts stiff penalties – including fines of $5,000 to $10,000 for first violations and up to $25,000 for repeat violations – for employers found to have “voluntarily and knowingly” misclassified workers as independent contractors. To read the full text of SB 459, which will take effect January 1, 2012, visit: http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/sen/sb_0451-0500/sb_459_bill_20111009_chaptered.pdf. Continue reading
According to a new report issued by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) – “Hanging on by a Thread” – nearly two million unemployed Americans will be cut off from federal unemployment insurance in January 2012 and millions more will face the same fate in the months following unless Congress reauthorizes the programs before they expire on December 31, 2011. The report warns a cut in federal unemployment insurance programs known as Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and Extended Benefits (EB) would deal blows to the unemployed, businesses, and the U.S. economy. The report is at: http://www.nelp.org/page/-/UI/2011/NELP_UI_Extension_Report_2011.pdf. Continue reading
While several U.S. states have passed laws requiring use of the electronic employment eligibility verification system known as E-Verify, California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed the Employment Acceleration Act of 2011 (A.B. 1236) that opposes E-Verify mandates and prohibits – except as required by federal law or as a condition of receiving federal funds – cities, counties, and special districts in California from requiring employers to use an electronic employment eligibility verification system such as E-Verify. To read the Employment Acceleration Act of 2011, visit: http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_1201-1250/ab_1236_bill_20110909_enrolled.pdf. Continue reading
Over the weekend, California Governor Jerry Brown signed two Assembly Bills – ‘AB 22’ and ‘AB 1236’ – that will impact the way employers in the state conduct credit report checks on job applicants and use the federal E-Verify employment eligibility verification system to check the work authorization status of newly hired employees. AB 22 prohibits most employers or prospective employers from obtaining consumer credit reports for employment purposes while AB 1236, the Employment Acceleration Act of 2011, prevents state and local governments from requiring California businesses to use E-Verify to check if newly hired workers are legally eligible to work in the United States. The new laws take effect January 1, 2012. Continue reading
Ruling on the recently-enacted Alabama immigration law House Bill 56 (H.B. 56), Chief Judge Sharon Blackburn of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama has issued a 115 page opinion upholding the order that Alabama employers must confirm the work authorized status of all new workers using the federal E-Verify employment eligibility verification system beginning April 1, 2012 or face penalties for hiring unauthorized aliens. In addition, businesses in Alabama must enroll in E-Verify by January 1, 2012 and attest by sworn affidavit to not knowingly employ, hire, or continue to employ unauthorized aliens to receive government contracts and grants from the State. Continue reading
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). Continue reading
The final version of California Assembly Bill No. 22 (AB 22) that limits credit checks of job applicants by most employers is headed to Governor Jerry Brown’s office for his signature. The bill – which many believe will be signed into law by the Governor – would prohibit most employers or prospective employers, with the exception of certain financial institutions, from obtaining consumer credit reports for employment purposes. If passed, California would join Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington as the U.S. states that currently restrict the use of credit checks by most employers for employment decisions (Update: Governor Brown Signs Two Bills Impacting Use of Credit Reports and E-Verify by Employers in California).
The state of Minnesota is once again requiring its big contractors to verify the legal right of their employees to work in the United States by using the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system that checks information from new hires against federal databases of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA), according to a report from Minnesota Public Radio. Already in effect, the new law requires private businesses providing more than $50,000 worth of services to the state to enroll in E-Verify and check the work status of new hires using the E-Verify system. Continue reading
North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue has signed into law the requirement that cities, counties, and businesses in the state employing 25 workers or more use E-Verify, an 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 their newly hired employees. The law (House Bill 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” – will be phased in for different employers from October 1, 2011, through July 1, 2013. Continue reading
Effective October 1, 2011, a new law in Connecticut – Senate Bill No. 361 (S.B. 361) – signed by Governor Dannel Malloy will prohibit certain employers from using credit reports in making hiring and employment decisions regarding existing employees or job applicants. The law applies to all employers in Connecticut with at least one employee. Connecticut is one of six U.S. states – joining Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington – that currently prohibit the use of credit history in employment decisions.