As of October 1, 2008, Federal contractors and all other employers are still prohibited from checking an existing employee through E-Verify. This prohibition, however, may be lifted for employers with U.S. Government contracts if the Bush Administration’s proposal to make the use of E-Verify mandatory for Federal contractors is adopted without modifications. The Administration wants to apply this rule not only to future employees of Federal contractors but also to their current employees. As of now, however, all employers are prohibited from running existing employees through E-Verify.
An advisory for employers posted on the USCIS website notes that:
“the proposed FAR rule is subject to comment from the public, consideration of these comments by the government, and subsequent issuance of a final rule in the Federal Register with a stated effective date. Until the FAR rule is published in the Federal Register as a final rule, existing program rules apply to all employers using the program. Under the proposed FAR rule, only those employers that are awarded a contract with the Federal Government that includes the contract term required by the final FAR rule may run existing employees through E-Verify, and then, only if such employees work on the covered contract.”
Because many U.S. employers were confused by the proposed rule, the USCIS website advisory was revised to clearly state that “at this time, the E-Verify program remains a voluntary program for employers, including Federal contractors.” The Administration, however, continues to encourage all employers, including Federal contractors, to enroll in E-Verify now to verify the employment eligibility of new hires.
Employers can request a free E-Verify and Form I-9 HR Toolkit from the Tracker I-9™ website.
Disclaimer: The content of this post does not constitute direct legal advice and is designed for informational purposes only. Information provided through this website should never replace the need for involving informed counsel on your employment and immigration issues.