E-Verify Update

Congress Approves Short-Term Funding Bill to Avert Government Shutdown, E-Verify Extension Included

Oct 2, 2015

Earlier this week, Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, narrowly averting a shutdown. Included in the CR is a provision that maintains continued funding for E-Verify, the voluntary Web-based system that allows more than half a million participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees, until Dec. 11.

Last month the White House listed E-Verify as a "must-have" item needed to keep the government running. In fiscal year 2014, E-Verify was used more than 28 million times by businesses to check the legal status of newly hired workers.

Congress will need to restart budget negotiations in December when lawmakers have to agree on a new omnibus funding bill for the remainder of the fiscal year, including continued funding and for E-Verify.

However, until budget talks resume, SHRM and our affiliate, the Council for Global Immigration (CFGI) will keep membership apprised of legislative developments to fund E-Verify beyond the Dec. 11 deadline.

In California

In addition to federal legislation regarding E-Verify, SHRM and CFGI are tracking a California E-Verify bill, the Protecting Immigrant Workers from Unscrupulous Employers Act (A.B. 622) to see if Gov. Jerry Brown will sign it into law on Oct. 11. The legislation would continue to allow employers to use E-Verify to check the status of new hires, but would prohibit employers from using E-Verify to screen existing employees or pre-screen job applicants or verify the work authorization of current employees, unless required by federal law.

A change the California legislation proposes is a $10,000 civil penalty for misuse of E-Verify. Existing law continues to forbid the state and its localities from mandating that a nongovernment employer use E-Verify.

We will continue to monitor this legislation and will provide an update on developments in a future HR Issues Update.

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