Got Stimulus Contracts? – Then E-Verify Mandated
Reprint - Opelika-Auburn News, Sunday, May 31
Beginning June 30, 2009, federal contractors and subcontractors including contractors working on local government projects funded by “stimulus package” money will be required to use the federal E-Verify system to verify the employment eligibility of employees. As I have previously reported, E-Verify can also immunize you and your company from financial penalties and federal jail time.
What is E-Verify? - E-Verify is an internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which allows participating employers to electronically certify that employees hired by the employers are legally authorized to work in the U.S. The Federal Acquisitions Regulatory Councils (FARC) adopted a final rule mandating E-Verify use by contractors when:
- A federal contract with a period of performance longer than 120 days and valued above $100,000, or
- A subcontractor for service or construction valued above $3,000; and
Contract awarded beginning June 30, 2009.
Play Safe – Enroll in E-Verify Today for Free - E-Verify can immunize your company against possible violations of immigration law. Recently, Immigration Compliance and Enforcement (ICE) raided an Alabaster Alabama construction company. Beverly Linan, owner and operator of Rodriguez Construction Company, was then named in a three-count federal indictment for the harboring of illegal aliens, knowingly employing illegal aliens, and a forfeiture count was included to recover profits made from employing illegal aliens. If convicted of all counts, Linan faces a maximum 10-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine. If this company had implemented E-Verify, Linan would have safeguarded the company and himself
Practical Counsel: 5 Reasons to Enroll in E-Verify Today:
- Rebuttable Presumption of Non Violation: If GREEN LIGHT confirmation to work in the U.S. is obtained through E-Verify then presumption of non-violation arises even if later proven that the worker is not authorized to work in the U.S.
- ICE Waves Penalties: If a company participates in E-Verify in good faith ICE waives criminal and civil liability for some offenses relating to hiring unauthorized employees.
- Eligible to Bid on Stimulus Contracts.
- Proper I-9 Form Competition Critical: E-Verify is not a substitute for I-9 compliance. It is absolutely critical that all supervisors and those with hiring authority be trained on proper I-9 form completion since that I-9 information will be put directly into the E-Verify system. Even a simple I-9 error can cause a RED LIGHT.
- 10 Federal Working Days To Contest: If final Non-Confirmation i.e. a RED LIGHT is given, then the employee has time to clear up the error with DHS and SSN and rerun to see the GREEN LIGHT. If the employee does not wish to contest the information, he or she must be terminated.
Tommy Eden is a Lee County native, an attorney with the local office of Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP and a member of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and serves on the Board of Directors for the East Alabama SHRM Chapter. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 334-246-2901. Blog at www.alabamaatwork.com