OCAHO Finds E-Verify Participation Does Not Provide Blanket Protection


E-Verify is the internet based system through which employers can verify the work eligibility of new hires. Upon hiring a new employee, the employer checks the employee’s information against Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) and Social Security Administration (“SSA”) databases to confirm whether the employee is work authorized. 

Employers enrolled in E-Verify are presumed not to have violated the employer sanctions rules in the Immigration and Nationality Act with respect to the hiring of any individual, if they obtain confirmation of each new employee’s identity and employment eligibility in compliance with the terms and conditions of E-Verify. Enrollment in E-Verify requires, among other things, the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with DHS, subjecting employers to certain responsibilities. It is important that the rights and responsibilities that come with E-Verify are understood in their entirety prior to enrollment.

In a recent decision by the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearings Officer (OCAHO), U.S. v. Golf International, the employer contended that because it enrolled in E-Verify, it was entitled to a presumption that it had not violated the law with respect to omissions, such as the failure to properly complete the Form I-9. OCAHO disagreed, pointing out that the E-Verify Memorandum of Understanding that must be signed by a participating employer provides that “The Employer understands that participation in E-Verify does not exempt the Employer from the responsibility to complete, retain, and make available for inspection Forms I-9 that relate to its employees.” As the employer did not properly complete, retain and make available for inspection certain Forms I-9, it was liable for violations related to such failures.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.