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Employee Verification

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that it will rescind a rule outlining actions employers should take when they receive a “no-match” letter from Social Security Administration indicating possible illegal employment.  

The no-match rule, issued back in 2007 during the Bush Administration, has been blocked from implementation by court order.   

As part of its announcement, DHS indicated that it still intends to pursue more recently proposed rules that would require federal contractors to enroll in the government’s E-Verify system and check the work authorization of all new hires and all employees assigned to a federal contract.

In light of the DHS announcement, Congress held two hearings last week focused on employment verification, E-Verify, and how to ensure a legal workforce.

As the leader of the HR Initiative for a Legal Workforce coalition, SHRM submitted written testimony to both the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Senate Judiciary Committee pointing out that the current deficiencies of E-Verify leave employers vulnerable to sanctions through no fault of their own.  In addition, SHRM urged Congress to replace E-Verify with a secure, electronic system that cannot be circumvented by identity theft.

To read the HR Initiative’s testimony, click HERE.

BACKSTORY:  In December 2008, SHRM, along with other associations, brought a lawsuit challenging whether DHS has the authority to mandate the use of E-Verify in light of the fact that it was created by Congress as a voluntary program limited to new hires only, not existing employees.  The government must respond to SHRM’s lawsuit before the rule becomes effective.  A hearing date has been set for August 21, 2009.



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