Immigration News: Upcoming State E-Verify Deadlines
December 23, 2008
The Immigration Practice Group
Reminder: Upcoming State E-Verify Deadlines
A number of states enacted laws requiring certain employers to use the Department of Homeland Security's E-Verify system in 2007 and 2008. Implementation deadlines for a number of these statutes will continue or begin in 2009:
Missouri: Missouri's statute requiring public contractors to use E-Verify takes effect on January 1, 2009. Under the law, all employers are prohibited from knowingly employing, hiring, or continuing to employ unauthorized aliens to perform work in the state. Employers found to have violated the law's requirements can be penalized by having their business permits or licenses suspended. The law provides employers participating in E-Verify with an affirmative defense to charges that they have knowingly employed an unauthorized alien. In addition, business entities, as a condition of any contract or grant in excess of $5,000, or a state-administered tax credit, tax abatement, or loan from the state must, by sworn affidavit, affirm their enrollment and participation in E-Verify. Public Contractors violating the law's requirements will be deemed in breach of the contract and may be suspended or debarred from contracting with the state for three years.
South Carolina: South Carolina will require all employers in the state to use E-Verify. The statute has separate implementation schedules for employers generally, and for employers who contract with state and local governments. For public contractors, the statute begins to take effect on January 1, 2009, when all contractors and subcontractors with 500 or more employees must be enrolled in the program. Contractors with 100 or more employees must begin using the system by July 1, 2009, and all contractors and subcontractors must be enrolled by January 1, 2010. Private employers not involved in contracting with the state must enroll in E-Verify by July 1, 2009 if they have 100 or more employees. All employers will be required to use E-Verify by July 1, 2010. Potential penalties for violations can include fines and suspension of business licenses.
Utah: Utah's statute requiring public contractors to enroll in and participate in E-Verify will become effective on July 1, 2009. As of that date, a contractor must register for and participate in E-Verify in order to enter into a contract with a state or local government agency.
Mississippi: All employers in Mississippi will be required to use E-Verify once the statute becomes fully effective. The statute began to take effect on July 1, 2008 when all public contractors and any private employer with 250 or more employees were required to have enrolled in the program. Private employers with 100 to 250 employees will be required to enroll in E-Verify by July 1, 2009. All employers will be required to enroll by July 1, 2010. Any employer who violates the E-Verify requirements shall be subject to cancellation of any public contract. This can result in ineligibility for future public contracts for up to 3 years, the loss of any license, permit, or certificate to do business in the state for up to one year, or both.
Georgia: Georgia's statute requires all companies contracting with state or local governments for the physical performance of services within the state to use E-Verify. The statute has had a rolling implementation schedule based upon the number of employees a contractor has. As of July 1, 2008, all contractors with 100 or more employees were required to have enrolled in E-Verify. All remaining contractors, regardless of the number of employees, will be required to enroll by July 1, 2009.
Reminder: Federal Contractors Must Use E-Verify Effective January 15, 2009
As discussed in the November 14, 2008 Client Alert, the final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation to require all federal contractors to use E-Verify will become effective on January 15, 2009 and will apply to all solicitations issued and contracts awarded after that date. The final regulation implements the Executive Order issued by President Bush on June 6, 2008 and will impose substantial new compliance burdens on federal contractors. Under the regulation, government contractors will be required to use the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) E-Verify program to verify the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees and of all employees (both new and existing) directly performing work under federal contracts.
Please contact us if you need any additional information or assistance with regard to any of these requirements. Paul Hastings will continue to track developments regarding the E-Verify program and will provide further updates as more information becomes available.