This Issue - March 2017
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New Administration Brings the Possibility of Mandatory E-Verify
2017 has already brought changes to the payroll process: Michigan’s minimum wage has been raised to $8.90 per hour and Form I-9 has been updated for newly hired employees. There are also some changes still to come, including modifications to the Affordable Care Act, new overtime rules, and the possibility of an E-Verify mandate from the new administration.
E-Verify is an internet based system that compares information from an employee’s Form I-9 to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility. Employers submit information from a new hire’s I-9 through E-Verify, and the system matches government records to determine whether the new hire is authorized to work in the United States.
The program is available for use now and has existed under its current name since 2007. For the time being, it is voluntary for most employers. Some states have already passed legislation requiring the use of E-Verify when hiring any employee. Other states only require the program when hiring government employees. As of November 2016, approximately 650,000 employers are using E-Verify. That number represents about 11% of all employers in the United States.
President Donald Trump has made his feelings on illegal immigration well known during his campaign. One of his tactics to curb illegal immigration is to require the use of E-Verify nationwide. What will this mean to employers? Presently, employers are already tasked with ensuring they hire a legal workforce through the use of Form I-9. With the possible addition of a nationwide E-Verify mandate, more responsibility will be placed on the shoulders of employers. Kinks in the system will need to be worked out before it is implemented or many employers and employees could be negatively affected. Although the percentage of issues is very low, delayed verifications and false-positives are two of the problems the current system is experiencing. If the issues are projected nationwide, many legal workers might be denied the right to work.
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