E-Verify is an Internet-based system that can be used by an employer to confirm employee identify and employment eligibility of job applicants before hiring them. The system compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (which every employer is required to have every employee fill out), to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records.
Upon completion of the form I-9, the employer uses E-Verify to confirm the information provided on the Form I-9, which is usually based on documentation provided by the employee. E-verify provides instant results for the employer and displays case results within a few seconds of submission.
A rejected employee has 8 days after rejection within which to file an appeal to demonstrate that he or she has the legal right to work. As an employer, it makes good sense to advise the employee about their rights. Otherwise the employer is then duty-bound to terminate the employee, or face sanction from ICE for knowingly hiring an undocumented worker.
The good news is that E-Verify is free and the fastest online service of its kind that verifies employees' data against millions of government records and provides results within as little as three to five seconds. For interested employers, follow this link to download the E-verify user manual.
It is important for businesses at risk to create a process for using e-verify, with templated and compliant notices given so that in case of an ICE audit, there is a written record of compliance. This can help avoid fees and lengthy court battles with OCAHO.
Many businesses are concerned - especially with the ongoing legislation to make e-verify mandatory - about these compliance issues and E-Verify. Indeed, in many states, it already is mandatory. Like almost anything related to immigration, E-Verify is controversial for its potential to reject properly authorized workers. Nevertheless, for businesses concerned about getting hit with an ICE audit or raid, knowledge about the system is key. Be proactive and protect your business.