Form I-9 and the E-Verify Program

Did you know that in the State of Utah if you have more than 15 employees you are required to use the E-Verify program administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for every new employee that you hire? SB 0251, passed in 2010, mandated that employers in Utah with 15 or more employees had to begin using the E-Verify program as of July 1, 2011. Utah is only one of five states (the others are Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi and South Carolina) that requires the use of E-Verify by its employers.

E-verify is a free online program that electronically verifies the employment eligibility of a newly hired employee. All new employees are required, upon hire, to complete Form I-9 to verify both their identity and employment eligibility. By using E-Verify, employers can compare the information taken from the Form I-9 and compare it to the records in the DHS and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases. The SSA verifies that the employee’s name, social security number and date of birth are a match to what was supplied on the Form I-9. If you have an employee who is not a U.S. citizen, the E-Verify site verifies their employment-authorization status.

It’s easy to register your company on the E-Verify site (http://www.uscis.gov/e-verify/e-verify-enrollment-page). Results are instant and there is no waiting to determine if your new employee is authorized to work in the U.S. Employers with less than 15 employees are encouraged to use the E-Verify system, even though their participation in the program is not required.

E-Verify will help you maintain a legal workforce and protect you from hiring unauthorized workers. And, here in Utah, it’s the law.

The content of this article should not be construed as legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel should you have questions regarding the Form I-9 or E-Verify process.