E-Verify, the federal program which employers use to verify that the workers they hire and employ are legally authorized to work in the United States will get dramatically impacted this coming January by California law AB 622.
What is E-Verify?
E-Verify is a citizenship status confirmation program administered by the Department of Homeland Security, the Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Social Security Administration.
How does California law AB 622 impact E-Verify?
AB 622, which goes into effect on January 1, 2016 will prohibit employers from using the E-Verify program to check the citizenship status of existing employees and employee who have not yet received a formal offer of employment from the employer. There are exemptions built into the law for employers who are required by federal law to use E-Verify on all employees, as well as for employers who are required by federal law to use E-Verify as a condition of the employer receiving federal funds.
Additionally, AB 622 requires employer who utilize e-verify and who receive a notice from either the Department of Homeland Security or the Social Security Administration that the information received from the employee doesn’t match the information regarding their citizenship found on the E-Verify platform, that the employer must notify the employee “as soon as practicable”. Employers who fail to notify employees of inconsistent E-Verify results may be subject to fines and penalties are high as $10,000.
What does this mean for California employers?
California employers who have questions about the E-Verify system, AB 622 and the interaction between the upcoming law change and their workforce should consult with an experienced employment and immigration attorney like the Law Office of Robert David Baker, Inc. is your local experienced and trust immigration and employment law firm.
While the E-Verify program gives employers a convenient and trustworthy method of verifying their employee’s work status, they will need to be careful to comply with this new California law. This means that employers should limit their use of E-Verify to only new employees who have received a formal offer of employment but who have not yet begun work. Current employees should not be run against the E-Verify program. If you have concerns about your use of the E-Verify program, or are a worker who was dismissed by your employer for the information that appeared in the E-Verify database but which doesn’t match your actual legal status to work in the United States, call us today to speak to our experienced and compassionate immigration and employment law experts.