New Federal, State E-Verify Bills
Last week we discussed a new E-Verify bill in Colorado that would replace the current affirmation process if passed. New legislation has reached a point where it’s necessary to discuss the various bills on both the state and federal levels regarding E-Verify.
Several states have introduced new legislation in the first month of this new legislative session. These states include: Kansas, Rhode Island, Texas, New Hampshire, South Dakota, and, as mentioned earlier, Colorado. The bills that would require employers to use E-Verify for all employers are those in Colorado, Rhode Island and South Dakota, with the other states requiring usage by state/public works contractors. These bills have various implementation dates if passed, with the earliest at present being South Dakota, which is set to become effective July 1st, 2013 in its current state. The states also have various fine and other enforcement provisions designed to entice employers to comply with these measures. Stay tuned here, as we will be updating the status of these bills as they work through their respective legislatures.
In addition to the state bills, two notable new federal bills were introduced recently. The first, Senate Bill 202, was authored by Senator Chuck Grassley, along with 10 Republican co-sponsors. This bill would: make E-Verify permanent; make E-Verify mandatory for all employers within a year of enactment; allow an employer to run an applicant through the system prior to hiring, with applicant consent; require employers to verify all employees within 3 years; and require employers to terminate unauthorized employees, just to name a few of the items covered.
The House also introduced H.R. 478, sponsored by Ga Rep. Phil Gingrey, which would make E-Verify permanent and mandatory for all employers within 60 days of passage.
While it is as yet impossible to predict whether or not many of these bills may pass, it is important to note the amount of activity already occurring on the E-Verify front this year in the legislative arena. Employers will want to re-examine their E-Verify processes across all locations and prepare for new requirements. Some of these bills will no doubt pass, and those employers with more than a vague familiarity with E-Verify will be in the best position to comply quickly.
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