Employment Law Commentary - Volume 23, No. 8 - August 2011: Ready or Not, Here They Come: State E-Verify Laws and What Employers Should Know


In this issue: Ready or Not, Here They Come: State E-Verify Laws and What Employers Should Know.

Just as the nation’s unemployment rate has risen to new levels, so has public pressure on the government to curb employment of undocumented workers. Several states have responded to illegal employment by passing laws that require employers to use a federally created Internet-based program called E-Verify. This electronic verification system allows employers to verify that new hires are authorized to work in the United States by comparing information from employees’ Form I-9s with records maintained in federal databases.

While employer participation in E-Verify is voluntary under federal law, the recent United States Supreme Court decision in Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. Whiting has given states the green light to make E-Verify participation mandatory for employers. In the 5-3 decision, the Court upheld an Arizona law that, in addition to imposing licensing sanctions on businesses that hire unauthorized workers, requires Arizona businesses to check the work authorization status of new employees through E-Verify.

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