As of July 1, 2013, all private employers in Georgia with more than ten employees should be enrolled in and using E-Verify (the federal employment verification system) for new hires or re-hires. The Georgia E-Verify requirements were enacted in 2011 and phased in over the last two years based on number of full-time (35 or more hours/week) employees counted on January 1 of each year. Employers may enroll in E-Verify directly at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website or through a designated agent (such as your electronic I-9 service provider. Each year when you apply for or renew your business license, occupational tax certificate or other document required to operate a business in Georgia, you must provide evidence (such as your E-Verify Account number and the date of enrollment) that the company is enrolled in and uses E-Verify as required or that the company is exempt because you do not have the threshold number of employees. Once you are enrolled in E-Verify as required by the Georgia immigration law, ensure that you comply with the E-Verify requirements (including only using it for new hires or re-hires, posting the required notices in both English and Spanish, processing the E-Verify query only after the offer of employment has been made and accepted, and taking no adverse action against any employee during the Tentative Non-Confirmation period).
E-Verify is likely to be implemented on a federal level as part of immigration reform legislation. If that occurs, all employers regardless of the number of employees, will be required to use E-Verify. Now is a good time to become familiar with the E-Verify requirements.