E-Verify: What Healthcare Employers Should Know
Other than skills and competencies, what’s another important component to consider when hiring a new employee? Employment authorization. Employers must verify their employees are authorized to work in the United States. This has traditionally been done through the Form I-9, but as many of you know or may have heard, another way to verify this information is through the use of the E-Verify program.
E-Verify is a program operated by the Department of Homeland Security in conjunction with the Social Security Administration. It is a free, web-based system that verifies an employee’s eligibility for employment based on the credentials presented to the employer upon completion of the Form I-9. While the program has been around since the 90s, E-Verify’s use has become increasingly popular among employers in recent years—with more than 500,000 employers and 1.4 million hiring sites currently using the system.
Who uses E-Verify?
Although E-Verify is voluntary for most employers, it is required for federal contractors who have the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR clause in their contract, as well as employers who are in one of the 21 states with enacted legislation requiring the use (or some use) of E-Verify. Below is a map that shows states with legislation regarding E-Verify. You may click here for full information on each state requirement.
A closer review of each state’s legislature regarding the use of E-Verify shows that they each have varying requirements of its use; and full compliance can be difficult for multi-state employers. According to Cristina Esguerra-Loayza, PreCheck’s product manager for I-9Ensure, “The requirement for federal contractors is pretty straightforward, the employer just needs to check for specific language within their federal contract and apply E-Verify rules for federal contractors. State mandates, on the other hand, can be complicated because each state may require it at different levels and employers who hire in multiple states have to be familiar with each of them.”
Indiana (SB 590), for example, enacted legislation in 2011 requiring state agencies, political subdivisions, and companies entering into or renewing public contracts to use E-Verify to confirm the work authorization of all new hires. While E-Verify is not mandated for private employers in Indiana, those who do not use the system may fail to qualify for certain tax credits on state income taxes.
Tennessee (HB 1378) and Louisiana (HB 342/HB 646/HB 996) both require employers to verify work authorization either through the use of E-Verify or by using the “other” acceptable method as laid out by their respective state legislature.
If you are an employer who is not currently participating in E-Verify, you may find that now is the best time to learn about how it works. Immigration is a topic that comes up a lot on the agenda of our country’s leaders; and the use of E-Verify by all employers to curb illegal immigration is brought up just as much. Mandatory use required by your state or even federally may be in the horizon. Consult with your legal counsel on how E-Verify will impact you and your business.
For more information regarding E-Verify, contact us to see how I-9Ensure can help you streamline your hiring process today!
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