Labor: Careful use of E-Verify is critical to avoid liability

Inadvertent prescreening of employees can lead to government investigations and fines

Many employers mistakenly believe that if they volunteer to participate in E-Verify they will be immune from scrutiny by the government regarding their pre-employment practices. This misconception can prove to be quite costly.

Simply speaking, E-Verify is a government-operated, Internet-based system that allows employers to determine prospective employees’ eligibility to work in the U.S. It compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility. Participation in E-Verify is voluntary for most businesses, yet state law or federal regulation requires some companies to use the program. For instance, most employers in Arizona and Mississippi must use E-Verify. E-Verify is also mandatory for employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that contain the Federal Acquisition Regulation E-Verify clause.

Contributing Author

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Tina M. Maiolo

A member of Carr Maloney, P.C., Tina Maiolo partners with clients to operate and grow their businesses. She focuses her legal practice in...

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