I f you listen to WTOP regularly, you've
probably heard commercials for E-Ver-
ify. On June 6, 2008, President Bush
signed an Executive Order requiring all
federal contractors to register for and use
the E-Verify system to ensure that all
their employees are legally authorized towork in the United States. This require-
ment immediately went into effect; in
fact, we have already seen a governmentagency amend a solicitation and add the
requirement for bidders to include proof
of their E-Verify registration in their pro-
posal submission.All new hires must complete an INS I-
9 form and provide documentation from
the list of acceptable documents (e.g., avalid or expired US passport, driver's li-cense, social security card, etc.) on theirfirst day of employment to validate theireligibility for work. E-Verify is an auto-
mated system that simplifies the employ-
ee eligibility verification process. Afterthe company enters the employee's in-formation from the Form 1-9, the sys-
tem crosschecks the information with
the Social Security Administration (SSA)
and Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) databases, and verifies their citi-
zenship and/or work visa status.
How to Register and Use the System
Users can register on-line for E-Verify at
which provides instructions for complet-ing the registration process. Registration
is easy and straight forward, but you mustset aside at least thirty minutes for system
training, since all users must pass a test
before they can use the system. After reg-
istering, you are required to sign a Mem-
orandum of Understanding (MOU) that
provides the terms of agreement between
you as the employer, the SSA, and DHS.
The E-verify system itself is user-
friendly and takes only minutes to en-
ter in a new employee's information. Asregistered users, people in my company
find the E-Verify program to be the easi-
est part of our new hire process.
Once the information is submitted,there are three potential responses the
system will provide:
SSA Tentative Non-Confirmation;
DHS Verification in Process.
The system provides training on how
to respond to each of these scenarios.
It is essential that companies under-
stand that there are legal ramifications
to participating in the E-Verify program.
DHS provides E-Verify Rules of Use,
and it is paramount that employers fol-
low them carefully. Employers may not
use the system to pre-screen applicantsfor employment. The system is to veri-fy the eligibility of new employees, not
applicants. It must also be used for ALL
employees, not just select employees, and
must be completed within three business
days of the new employee hire. We rec-
ommend at least two people in the com-
pany know how to log in and use the sys-
tem as a way to ensure that the process iscompleted on time.
SMART BUSINESS IDEAS