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E-Verify | What Employers, HR & New Hires Need To Know

E-Verify is a fast, free, and easy-to-use internet-based system designed to ensure a legal workforce. If you are an employer, in HR or even a new hire here's what you need to know about E-Verify and the E-Verify program. 

Although E-Verify is voluntary, some states mandate all employers, whether public or private, to use it to confirm new hires' employment eligibility. Federal and government contractors are required to use E-Verify regardless of state requirements. For instance, in Florida, private employers with 25 or more employees must use E-Verify for employees hired on or after July 1, 2023. Additionally, all state contractors and subcontractors must also use E-Verify. Similarly, Georgia mandates that private employers with 11 or more employees utilize E-Verify, and all state contractors and subcontractors must also use E-Verify.  It's important to check state laws based on your location of business and state laws where your employees are situated. 

E-Verify | What Employers, HR & New Hires Need To Know

When a business enrolls into the E-Verify program and creates an E-Verify account, each E-Verify account should have at least one program administrator who is responsible for following all E-Verify program rules and staying updated with changes to E-Verify policies and procedures. The program administrator's role includes the functions of a general user and is accountable for safeguarding all Personally Identifiable Information (PII). E-Verify program participants must ensure the Form I-9 for each new hire is complete and enter that information into E-Verify no later than the third day after the new hire starts work for pay. E-Verify checks whether the information on a new hire's Form I-9 matches government records in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases. 

Program participants can only use E-Verify after the new hire has accepted the job offer and completed the Form I-9.  Employers cannot use E-Verify to pre-screen (conduct pre-employment background checks) and they may not discriminate against applicants and new hires based on national origin, citizenship, immigration status, race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information. 

As a program administrator or general user, you should be using the most current version of the Form I-9, reviewing all Sections of the Form and looking for missing or incomplete information. It's important to note that new hires must provide their Social Security number in Section I, regardless of documentation submitted in Section II. New hires are not obliged to provide their email address. If a new hire provides their personal email address, E-Verify will only use it to send an email notification to the employee if additional action is required. Should a mismatch occur employers can not take adverse action or immediately terminate employment.

When a new hire provides documentation for Section II of Form I-9 employers or authorized representatives are not required to be a document expert and must accept documents that appear to be reasonably genuine and relate to the person presenting them. Employers cannot discriminate by specifying which documentation a new hire presents in Section II, except to specify that any List B documents the new hire chooses to present must contain a photo. 

Employers using E-Verify are required to record the E-Verify case number on the new hire's Form I-9 or print the case details and maintain it with all other I-9 files separated from employment files. Employers must display the dual-language The Right to Work and E-Verify Participation notices to prospective employees and all employees, including those hired to work in a remote setting who will have their employment eligibility confirmed with E-Verify. This can include displaying posters digitally, online, in hard copy at physical locations, and providing a copy of the posters with job application materials. 

To reduce fraud, and ensure the proper use of E-Verify and the protection of employee workplace rights, employers should conduct internal reviews through an outsourced third party. All program rules should be reviewed, including annual employee training on the safeguarding of Personally Identifiable Information. 

E-Verify is a helpful program that works! By electronically comparing the information from an employee's Form I-9 with records available to SSA and/or DHS employers can quickly verify and ensure a legal workforce. 

For more information about E-Verify and to enroll in the program visit the E-Verify website.


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