Ruling on the recently-enacted Alabama immigration law, (“H.B. 56″), Chief Judge Sharon Blackburn of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama ordered that Alabama employers must begin complying with the E-Verify provisions of H.B. 56.
Effective on April 1, 2012, Alabama businesses must still confirm the work authorized status of all newly-hired workers using the federal E-Verify system, and face penalties for hiring unauthorized aliens (see our previous post for more details about H.B. 56)
Furthermore, as of January 1, 2012, a business must enroll in the E-Verify program, not knowingly employ, hire or continue to employ an unauthorized alien, and attest to both of those requirements by sworn affidavit in order to receive government contracts, grants or other incentives from the State.
Judge Blackburn did ease some burden on employers by eliminating several provisions of the Alabama law. First, the federal court enjoined Section 16 of H.B. 56, which prohibits taking a state tax deduction for wages paid to an unauthorized alien employee. Next, Section 17 was eliminated, which would have created an opportunity for a “discrimination” claim when an employer retained or hired an unauthorized alien over a documented worker.
Lastly, the federal court blocked the State of Alabama from enforcing Sections 11 (f) and (g) of H.B. 56, which make it illegal for an occupant of a motor vehicle stopped on the street to attempt to hire someone to work at a different location if it impedes traffic and for an individual to enter into a motor vehicle for such purpose if it impedes traffic. This section’s elimination makes compliance easier for small employers and contractors who often use roadside hiring to find laborers.
The fifth state to enact immigration laws since Arizona’s SB 1070 took effect, Alabama is the first to have these key provisions upheld. Although none of these rulings are final, Judge Blackburn’s final decision is likely to reflect these orders. Employers who violate these provisions face extremely costly fines and the risk their right to do business in Alabama.
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.