Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and several other organizations filed a federal lawsuit challenging the legality of requiring federal contractors and sub-contractors to use E-Verify. Among other things, the plaintiffs argue that the practical difficulty of identifying which employees are covered by the requirements, as well as the potential that its violation may result in suspension or debarment will force many employers to electronically “reverify” all of their existing employees hired after November 6, 1986. This will then increase the likelihood that many employers will face expensive and time-consuming lawsuits brought by individuals who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of race and/or national origin.
The Chamber and co-plaintiffs also allege that the regulations violate existing law, exceed statutory authority, constitute improper rulemaking by the Executive Branch, and fail to account for the significant costs to employers who, must replace workers who become unauthorized to work solely by operation of the E-Verify requirements. The government had estimated that for fiscal year 2009 alone, employers’ startup and training costs for complying with the E-Verify Federal Contractor requirements would total $188,138,945.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction, preventing the government from enforcing the E-Verify rule and a declaration that President Bush’s executive order is illegal and invalid.