Tennessee Governor Signs Immigration Enforcement Law


Tennessee employers soon will be required to take several actions under a new immigration law. The Tennessee Lawful Employment Act requires employers to use E-Verify, or to maintain documentation of legal residency or valid U.S. work authorization for all employees hired after the effective date. The law takes effect for governmental entities and private employers with 500 or more employees on January 1, 2012. On July 1, 2012, the law will apply to private employers with 200-499 employees and all employers with more than six employees will be covered as of January 1, 2013. Employers will also be required to maintain documentation of legal residence or valid U.S. work authorization for non-employees providing labor or services.

In order to comply with the law, employers will be required to maintain the E-Verify query results or the alternative documentation for three years after the date of hire or one year after termination, whichever is later. Documentation of legal residency or valid U.S. work authorization is defined to include a valid driver’s license or photo ID issued by the state of Tennessee or another state with the same strict issuance requirements, an official birth certificate issued by a U.S. state, jurisdiction, or territory, an unexpired U.S. Passport, a certificate of citizenship, a certificate of naturalization, or other proof of legal status.

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