Amended with a provision that allows businesses to use a driver’s license as proof the employee is legally eligible to work in the United States, the ‘Tennessee Lawful Employment Act’ (SB 1669 – HB 1378) – a bill that would make employers check new hires using the government’s E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system – passed easily in the House and the bill will be taken up by the Senate at any time, the WPLN Nashville (TN) Public Radio website reported.

Co-sponsored by Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) and Representative Joe Carr (R-Lascassas), the bill originally required the employment eligibility of all new hires to be cleared through E-Verify, a free on-line federal government program that checks information on the Form I-9 against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases to verify if a person is legally eligible to work in the United States.

Although the bill was changed to give companies the option of using a driver’s license instead of the E-Verify employment eligibility verification system, Representative Carr told WPLN that the change would not weaken the Tennessee Lawful Employment Act since companies relying on the driver’s license instead of E-Verify would not be protected from fines if they turn out to be wrong. The bill exempts small companies with five employees or less.

A Designated E-Verify Employer Agent such as Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a nationwide background screening provider accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) – can help employers comply with E-Verify requirements. To learn more about E-Verify services from Employment Screening Resources, visit

More information about the ‘Tennessee Lawful Employment Act’ (SB 1669 – HB 1378) is available at:

About Employment Screening Resources (ESR): Founded in 1997 in the San Francisco Bay area with a mission to help employers and employees maintain safe workplaces, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) and wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by founder and President Lester Rosen. For more information about ESR, visit or email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at [email protected].