SHRM Members Endorse Greater E-Verify Use If Improved

By Roy Maurer Mar 24, 2014

Human resource professionals overwhelmingly support specific improvements to E-Verify, the federal government’s electronic employment verification system, according to a recent survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

SHRM analyzed 611 responses from the February 2014 survey, which polled a random sample of the Society’s 275,000 members.

Fifty-six percent of respondents use E-Verify. Reasons for doing so include voluntary participation (38 percent), federal contractor requirement (36 percent) and state law requirement (20 percent).

Respondents expressed near-unanimous approval for using E-Verify if it incorporates improvements such as:

  • A strong safe harbor to protect employers (96 percent).
  • Protection against allegations of employment-based discrimination (96 percent).
  • Identity authentication (95 percent).
  • An expedited period to resolve disputed cases (94 percent).
  • Elimination of Form I-9 (92 percent).

Form I-9 Process Problematic

The primary reason some respondents haven’t yet adopted E-Verify is that it doesn’t eliminate the requirement to complete Form I-9 (45 percent).

Slightly more than half of E-Verify users said they face challenges in using the E-Verify system, including 28 percent who worry about balancing I-9 compliance with concerns about discrimination and unfair employment practices, and 24 percent who are unhappy that E-Verify does not replace the Form I-9 process.

Concerns with Identity Authentication

The inability of the E-Verify system to detect identity theft remains a major challenge. Thirty-four percent of respondents are worried about the authenticity of documents that new or current employees present. Nearly a quarter of respondents reported doubts about the authenticity of job seekers’ identities. When generalized to the national workforce, this equates to 1.75 million employers.

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Follow him at @SHRMRoy

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