The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced its intent to publicly display information on businesses using E-Verify on searchable areas of its web site. According to the DHS, the release of this information is allowed under the terms noted in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which must be executed by all employers enrolling in the E-Verify program. A careful reading of the MOU reveals that an employer must agree that E-Verify is not confidential information and may be disclosed as authorized or required by law and DHS or SSA policy, including but not limited to, Congressional oversight, E-Verify publicity and media inquiries, determinations of compliance with Federal contractual requirements, and responses to inquiries under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Presumably, the disclosure of this information on the DHS web site falls under the very wide scope of “DHS policy.”
In particular, DHS may post an employer’s registered business name, contact address, workforce size, employee verification option (all new hires or entire workforce), and overall E-Verify volume (number of queries). Now more than ever, employers registering as federal contractors should be vigilant in following all of the E-Verify rules, especially since their hiring activity and other information may now be subject to increased public scrutiny.
This E-Verify announcement is currently available on the E-Verify home page as well as the alert section of employers’ E-Verify dashboard.