In the summer of 2011, the Georgia and North Carolina legislatures each passed laws mandating the use of E-Verify for private companies. Employers were phased over time to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS’) online electronic employment eligibility program based on the size of the company. On July 1, 2013, the final phase of the states’ programs take effect, requiring Georgia employers with over ten (10) employees and North Carolina employers with over twenty-five (25) employees to begin using the E-Verify system. The mandatory usage of E-Verify for private and public employers is expanding with nine (9) states mandating use of the system for new hires.1 With a patchwork quilt of E-Verify state laws, national employers must be vigilant in keeping up with laws and regulations in different states.
The Georgia Department of Labor is charged with enforcing the E-Verify Bill. Companies found to be acting in “willful violation” of the law by accepting documents that are not acceptable are guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to imprisonment not to exceed twelve months, a fine not to exceed $1,000 or both. The Bill also provides that public employers cannot enter into contracts for physical performance of services unless the contractor, subcontractor, and sub- subcontractor all register and participate in E-Verify and submit an affidavit to that effect. In addition, the Bill provides for criminal penalties for any person who “knowingly and willingly” submits a false statement in an affidavit.
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