By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Staff Writer

Utah and Virginia have recently passed bills mandating E-Verify participation and requiring certain employers to use the E-Verify Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification to check the work eligibility of new hires in the United States.

In Utah, as of July 1, 2010, the Private Employer Verification Act requires all private employers with 15 or more employees to use a status verification system broadly defined to include E-Verify, the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS), or other DHS-approved systems to verify the employment eligibility of new employees.

According to Utah’s E-Verify law — which exempts new hires on the H-2A or H-2B seasonal visas — as long as the E-Verify system indicates the employee is work authorized, employers observing the law will be shielded from civil liability for the unlawful hiring of an undocumented worker. In addition, an employer may not be held liable for refusing to hire an individual E-Verify indicated was not work authorized.

Meanwhile, Virginia’s E-Verify law (HB 737) requires only state agencies to enroll in the E-Verify Program by December 1, 2012 — extended from the original effective date of December 1, 2010 — and for these agencies to thereafter use the E-Verify Program for each newly hired employee who is to perform work within the Commonwealth.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) — a national background screening provider and authorized E-Verify Designated Agent — can help employers virtually eliminate 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