A measure that would have stopped more cities and counties from mandating use of a federal work eligibility program failed to get votes in the Washington state House, despite backing from farmers and immigrant advocacy groups.
Known as E-Verify, the voluntary program has been adopted by 11 cities and counties for government contracts. The program checks a person’s eligibility to work in the country.
A proposed bill in the Washington State House of Representatives, House Bill 2568, would prohibit the state and municipalities from requiring that a private employer use the E-Verify program, unless required by the federal government.
E-Verify is the Employment Eligibility Verification program, a free electronic system provided through a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration. E-Verify allows businesses to electronically check the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States.
Like several states, Washington has a number of cities and counties that have mandated the use of E-Verify for certian businesses. These E-Verify-mandated municipalities currently include Centralia, Chehalis, Clark County, Kennewick, Lakewood, Lewis County, Napavine, Pierce County, City of Sumner, Washougal, and Whatcom County. If adopted, HB 2568 will override these policies, and in effect limit E-Verify participation in the state of Washington to a voluntary or federally mandated basis. The bill would prevent state and local governments from requiring employers to use E-Verify as a condition of receiving a contract, applying for or maintaining a business license, or as a penalty for violating licensing or similar laws. California and Illinois currently impose similar E-verify limits at the state level.
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.