By Lee Allphin, Employer Advantage Founder and Chairman of the Board

E-Verify is a free web-based program that allows employers to confirm the eligibility of workers to work in the US. As explained in our I-9 compliance blog, all employees are required to complete the Form I-9 on the first day of employment. In order to enter this information into the E-Verify system, employers must be enrolled to access it, or have an Agent like Employer Advantage who can access the system on their behalf.

Some employers are required to use E-Verify, depending on factors including their location and the types of contracts they use. Whether required or not, it is a useful tool for all employers seeking to ensure that they are in compliance with federal and state regulations.

How E-Verify Works

Employers of new employees, or their designated Agents, have three business days to complete the Employee Information and Attestation in the E-Verify system. E-Verify will compare the information entered with records available from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and/or Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A case result is then provided, usually within three to five seconds.

There are six possible case results:

  • Employment Authorized – the entered information matches records available to SSA and/or DHS.
  • Verification in Process – the case was referred to DHS for further verification.
  • Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) – The information did not match records available to SSA and/or DHS. Further action is required.
  • Case in Continuance – The employee has taken further action, i.e. visited an SSA field office or contacted the DHS, but more time is needed for a final result.
  • Close Case and Resubmit – SSA or DHS requires the employer or agent to close the case and create a new case for the employee. This may be issued when the employee’s documentation information is incorrect or incorrectly entered.
  • Final Nonconfirmation – E-Verify cannot confirm the employee’s employment eligibility after the employee has visited the SSA field office or contacted DHS.

To help ensure that documents are genuine and relate to the employee, E-Verify also has photo matching for specific documents, including: Permanent Resident Card, Employment Authorization Document, and the US passport and passport card.If the initial case is a Tentative Nonconfirmation, the employee must be notified, and further action taken. Once action is taken, or enough time elapses, E-Verify will return a final result of Employment Authorized, Close Case and Resubmit, or Final Nonconfirmation.

Monitoring and Compliance

E-Verify monitors each submission and notifies employers of noncompliant actions in order to prevent misuse, discrimination, and breach of privacy.  These notifications let employers know what was considered noncompliant and the applicable regulation that applies. Some noncompliant issues are:

  • Not having E-Verified the employee within the three business days of starting work.
  • Only E-Verifying select employees.
  • Using E-Verify before the hire date in order to see if the worker is legal to work in the US.

E-Verify requires that users take periodic tutorials and offers assistance by email, phone calls, desk reviews and site visits. If continued noncompliance is detected, the Employer could be disbarred from participating in federal, state, or municipal contracts in the future and possibly be reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the Department of Justice for investigation of potential illegal activities.

Currently, the E-Verify website states that there are over 750,000 registered employers of all sizes and over 2.4 million hiring sites.

E-Verify is a voluntary program except for the following reasons:

  • Employers who have federal contracts or subcontracts (usually the contract contains a clause requiring enrollment and participation), or
  • Employers who are doing business with a state government or municipality that requires it, or
  • Employers in a state or municipality that requires participation, or
  • Because of a legal ruling for a specific employer.

Future of E-Verify

Currently, there are 24 states/municipalities with laws requiring E-Verify.

  • Public Employers/Contractors – FL, IN, MO, NE, OK, PA, TX
  • Public Employers Only – ID, VA
  • Employers through Local or Municipal Requirements – MI, NY, OR, WA
  • All or Most Employers – AL, AZ, GA, MS, NC, SC, TN, UT
  • Contractors Only – CO, MN
  • Option of E-Verify or Other Collection System – LA

Congress has presented multiple bills that have supported the mandatory requirement to use E-Verify for all US businesses, but none have yet passed. In the current US Federal Government FY 2019 budget, money has been allotted to the enhancement of E-Verify and the potential requirement of mandatory use by all US businesses.

Employers should remember that their best action is to ensure that the Form I-9 is correctly and timely completed as per the regulations. Then, depending on whether the employer is required to participate in E-Verify or wants to do so voluntarily, get up to speed on the requirements or find a designated agent to assist with the entry and follow up required.

Need assistance with E-Verify and I-9 Compliance?

Employer Advantage is an employer agent for E-Verify and can submit I-9 information for the E-Verify process. While some employers are required to participate in E-Verify, others choose to participate as an affirmative defense that they have completed the I-9 correctly and have verified the authorization of the employee to work in the United States.

As a part of our comprehensive management of employee administration and compliance for employers, Employer Advantage is committed to helping employers be compliant. Our staff receives up-to-date training on Form I-9, the I-9 process, and E-Verify so that we can assist employers in completing the forms correctly and within the appropriate timeframes. The average employer has a hard time keeping up with the ever-changing laws and forms that they must deal with for their business. We are here to take away the burdens of the “business of employment.”

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