The mandate for federal contractors to use E-Verify has been delayed again (4 times and counting), with the new effective date being set for September 8, 2009. The official notice of the delay has been published in the Federal Register.
The federal contractor E-Verify rule was originally scheduled to take effect on January 15, 2009, but the implementation has now been postponed four times due in part to the federal lawsuit filed by business groups as well as the ongoing debate surrounding immigration reform under the Obama administration.
Insider sources indicate that there is still strong bi-partisan support for some form of mandatory electronic verification (for both federal contractors and all employers), but it remains to be seen how the Administration will resolve some of the more controversial provisions of the current rule. In particular, many business groups have been lobbying against vicarious liability for subcontractors and E-Verification of an employer’s existing workforce.
Regardless of how the rule turns out, employers should start preparing for electronic verification now by auditing their current I-9s, transitioning from paper to electronic I-9s, and devising proper policies and procedures for this new era of electronic employment verification. Employers are encouraged to request a free E-Verify and Form I-9 HR Toolkit from Tracker I-9 to help prepare for these new requirements.