As of 2019, there are many states that require E-Verify to check all new hires for eligibility to work in the United States. This program started off as the “Basic Pilot Program” in 1997. Ultimately, the government renamed it in 2007. It compares information on the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form to data from federal government records such as those stored by the Social Security Administration. As a result, employers and new hires receive notification of any suspicious mismatch in information so that the issue can be swiftly resolved.
List of States that Require E-Verify Has Expanded in the Past Decade
In the early days, the program was primarily used by federal agencies and organizations seeking federal contracts. However, seventeen states have now passed their own legislation mandating the use of E-Verify for some or all businesses. In 2011, the Supreme Court of the United States confirmed that individual states retain the right to mandate the use of E-Verify as they see fit. Subsequently, as of now, states that require E-Verify usage include:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- Finally, West Virginia
However, the details of E-Verify requirements vary by state. At the more strict end of the scale, states like Arizona and Georgia want almost all employers, both public and private, to use the verification system. Yet, public employers and contractors are the only entities covered in states like Nebraska and Missouri. Further, Idaho’s mandate applies only to public agencies and Louisiana’s ruling only covers public contractors. Finally, three states (California, Illinois, and Rhode Island) have actually passed legislation preventing E-Verify from being a requirement for any organization. However, employers may still use it voluntarily.
This is why it is important for businesses to understand the requirements in their own state. In addition, for businesses operating in multiple regions, it may make sense to simply implement E-Verify across the board. That is to say, even if it is not required by the law in every state. This ensures that there is consistency for all work sites and no appearance of discriminatory practices or lax standards based on new hire location.
Why Use E-Verify?