E-Verify is an internet-based system in the United States that allows employers to verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. E-Verify is administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA).
When an employer hires a new employee, they are required by law to verify the employee’s eligibility to work in the United States. E-Verify provides a quick and efficient way for employers to confirm the employment authorization status of their new employees.
What Is E-Verify?
E-Verify is an internet portal that compares the information you as an employer enter from your employee’s Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) with DHS and SSA records to confirm that they are eligible to work in the United States. It is fast and free to use, and is the only service of its kind, with results usually available within seconds.
How Does E-Verify Work?
Employers can visit the E-Verify website to enroll for free. After registration, employers submit records from prospective hires’ I-9 forms through the web portal. This information must include a Social Security number (SSN), as well as any other identifying documents necessary. The system instantly compares the information with the DHS and SSA records and returns an eligibility determination in seconds.
What Are the Benefits of Using E-Verify?
E-Verify carries many benefits. First, it is free to use. Second, it is lightning fast, so you don’t have to wait for results. Third, it provides peace of mind that your prospective hire meets the U.S. DHS and Social Security requirements for employment eligibility. All of these together mean it keeps you in compliance with employment laws and is a vital risk management tool for your company.
E-Verify May Be Mandatory, Depending on Your Business and Location!
While E-Verify is voluntary in many areas, those organizations that engage in federal contracting work are required to use it if those contracts or subcontracts contain an E-Verify clause. In addition, some state and local governments mandate the use of E-Verify under specific conditions that vary by location.
What Are Tentative Nonconfirmations?
Tentative Nonconfirmations, or mismatches, mean that the I-9 information entered into E-Verify does not match available DHS or SSA records. If you receive a mismatch, you are required to inform the prospective employee of this result. A mismatch does not necessarily mean the hire is not authorized for work; it just means that their records do not match up. It is, however, up to the prospective hire to take action to resolve the mismatch within 10 days, or you may close the case in E-Verify.
E-Verify and the Role of Government
Some criticisms of E-Verify have been levied. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is concerned that E-Verify could be twisted into a national ID program, which could press employers into policing federal identification problems. The American Farm Bureau is also critical of the system based on the concern that it will harm the livelihood of farmers due to government overreach with the labor-intensive nature of agricultural concerns. For now, though, E-Verify is a useful tool for many employers. It can help keep your company in compliance with labor laws in your city and state.