New Colorado E-Verify Bill May Change Affirmation Landscape
Last month, the Colorado Legislature introduced a bill that would mandate the use of E-Verify for all new employees in the state of Colorado. As you may know, Colorado currently has an affirmation process in place that requires employers to examine and make copies of certain types of documentation within 20 days of hire. This law has been in place since 2007 but has really become higher profile over the last two years or so.
The new bill would replace the affirmation process and, as of January 1st, 2014, require all new employees to be run through E-Verify. Employers are subject to a fine of up to $5,000 for a first offense, and up to $25,000 for a second offense. Those found to be repeat offendors are subject to the $25,000 fine as well as a suspension of business licenses for a period of up to six months.
While it remains to be seen what will happen regarding this bill, it likely has a good shot at passage, given the current state of employee verification in Colorado. The Affirmation Document has been confusing to employers and involves a different set of standards that seem to be contrary to Federal law. Employers should continue to follow the prescribed methodology currently in place until the E-Verify bill has been passed and becomes effective.
Stay tuned for more details. We fully expect more E-Verify bills of note to be introduced this year, and some of them will likely become law.
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