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National E-Verify Mandate is Back

Legislation requiring employers to use the government’s electronic employment eligibility verification program to ensure that their employees are authorized to work in the U.S. will soon be reintroduced. The E-Verify program, which allows employers to electronically check an employee’s I-9 form against government records to confirm employment eligibility, is voluntary at the federal level, though some states require certain employers to use it.

The bill would phase-in E-Verify use in six-month increments beginning with the largest U.S. businesses and mandate that all employers use the system within two years of enactment.

The legislation raises penalties for employers who don’t comply with E-Verify requirements, allows employers to use E-Verify prior to hiring an applicant, provides a safe harbor for employers who use the system in good faith and seeks to combat identity theft by requiring agencies to “lock” Social Security numbers suspected of being compromised and notify applicants of any “unusual multiple use.”

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