Georgia Governor Signs New Immigration Law

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On May 13, 2011, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed The Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011. The law, which goes into effect on July 1, 2011, requires public employers to obtain affidavits from contractors (and any subcontractors and sub-subcontractors) stating that they are enrolled in and use E Verify or, in the case of a contractor, subcontractor, or sub-subcontractor who has no employees and does not intend to hire employees during the term of the contract, to provide a copy of a state-issued driver’s license or ID card issued by a U.S. state that verifies lawful immigration status before issuing that document.

The law also requires private employers with more than ten employees to use E-Verify for new hires. It goes into effect for employers with 500 or more employees on January 1, 2012, for employers with 499 to 100 employees on July 1, 2012, and for employers with 99 to 11 employees on July 1, 2013. At the time a business or individual applies for or renews a business license, occupational tax certificate or other document required to operate a business in Georgia, the applicant must provide evidence that the company or individual uses E-Verify or is exempt. In order to determine when the E-Verify requirement will go into effect, an employer must count the number of employees working at least 35 hours per week as of January 1 of the year.

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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.

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