When it comes to hiring new employees, it’s important that you know for sure that individuals are eligible to work in the United States. Because U.S. law mandates that companies only employ workers who may legally work in the United States, it can create some serious headaches if you end up hiring an illegal worker (knowingly or not).
In fact, hiring illegals can lead to penalties like criminal and civil fines and result in the loss of your business license. Fortunately, E-Verify makes it possible to effectively screen new hires to ensure worker eligibility and help your business avoid any legal backlash.
What is E-Verify?
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), “E-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility.”
It works by first having new hires fill out an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9 Form). From there, E-Verify allows you to compare the information on this form with the databases from the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration. This will verify that a person’s name, social security number and date of birth are correct, and you’ll know whether or not a new hire is legally eligible to work in the U.S.
This way, you can quickly determine whether your employees are being honest and if there are any red flags. In turn, you can hire with certainty and protect your business from penalties or other complications. While the vast majority of employers aren’t legally required to use E-Verify, it’s a good idea to take advantage of it.
How to Get E-Verify
Getting set up is fairly straightforward. Simply visit the USCIS website, and you’ll have access to a wealth of information concerning E-Verify. Included is information about the program, free webinars, multimedia, answers to common questions and more. From there, visit the enrollment information page to help prepare for the enrollment process. Finally, you’ll need to go to the E-Verify Enrollment Page, and it will walk you through the process.
How to Use It
When you choose to use this tool, you’re responsible for notifying job applicants beforehand. You must require all new hires to fill out an I-9 form. Then, create a case on E-Verify no later than the third business day after they start work. It’s also important to note:
- It’s your responsibility to keep all private employee information safe and secure so that it isn’t leaked to outside parties.
- You can’t be selective when using E-Verify — if you use it for one employee, you must use it for all employees.
- You can’t use this program to discriminate against employees.
You can find comprehensive details and obtain any other information you may need via the E-Verify User Manual.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to screen new hires for employment eligibility, you will definitely want to use E-Verify. Not only will it protect your company from needless penalties, you can make sure that employees are who they say they are and get things started out on the right foot.