Do You Understand E-Verify?
by Yvette LaGonterie, Window Shopper
- Created: April 9, 2012, 1:45 pm
Now is the ideal time to ensure that employers and employees understand the E-Verify and the federal employment eligibility verification processes.
E-Verify is a fast, free, and easy to use web-based service run by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration that allows employers to verify the eligibility of their newly hired employees to legally work in the United States.
All employers are already required to complete and retain a Form I-9, the “Employment Eligibility Verification” form, for each person they hire in the United States. That includes citizens and non-citizens.
E-Verify takes the Form I-9 process one step further. It compares information entered on a Form I-9 to information in government records. In most cases, E-Verify tells the employer in just seconds if an employee is eligible to work in the United States. E-Verify isn’t a database, but simply a secure way for employers to check new employee’s employment eligibility information against existing Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) records.
To use E-Verify, an employer must first enroll online at www.dhs.gov/E-Verify. Employers complete a basic registration application, then take a tutorial, and pass a test before being granted access. Once enrolled, there are rules that must be followed. For example, E-Verify cannot be used by employers in a discriminatory way, such as only checking some employees but not others. Employers may not use E-Verify to prescreen job applicants. Also, employers may not take any adverse action against an employee, including firing or delaying the employee’s start date, who is in the process of resolving an initial mismatch of information.
DHS conducts free, live webinars about E-Verify throughout the month. The 90-minute webinars include a demonstration of E-Verify and opportunity to ask questions. The webinar schedule is posted on www.dhs.gov/E-Verify
E-Verify is currently used at more than one million worksites. E-Verify is growing rapidly, with more than 2,500 new businesses enrolling each week. For most employers, using E-Verify is voluntary and limited to verifying new employees only. Since September 2009, E-Verify is mandatory for many federal contractors.
E-Verify users rate the program as fast and easy to use, according to a recent American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey. Users also give E-Verify’s customer service very high scores. Visit the E-Verify website to learn more.
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