Federal Contractors Required to Use E-Verify System

Federal contractors and subcontractors will be required to begin using the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) E-Verify system starting Jan. 15, 2009, to verify their employees’ eligibility to legally work in the United States. This new rule requires federal contractors to agree, through language inserted into their federal contracts, to use E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all persons hired during a contract term, and to confirm the employment eligibility of federal contractors’ current employees who perform contract services for the federal government within the United States.

Federal contracts awarded and solicitations issued after Jan. 15, 2009 will include a clause committing government contractors to use E-Verify. The same clause will also be required in subcontracts over $3,000 for services or construction. Contracts exempt from this rule include those that are for less than $100,000 and those that are for commercially available off-the-shelf items. Companies awarded a contract with the federal government will be required to enroll in E-Verify within 30 days of the contract award date. They will also need to begin using the E-Verify system to confirm that all of their new hires and their employees directly working on federal contracts are authorized to legally work in the United States.

More than 92,000 employers currently use E-Verify, a free Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the Social Security Administration that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their employees.  To read the USCIS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on this subject, please click here.