E-Verify is a web-based system that allows enrolled employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. Identity verification is done by electronically matching information provided on the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, against records available to the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security.

Although E-Verify participation is often voluntary currently, some employers are required to participate due to a legal ruling, federal contracting clauses, or state licensing legislation. Certain states have different industry requirements as well. South Dakota currently has no legal mandates for E-Verify. As this can always be changing, employers should take note of their specific state laws related to this to make sure they are complying.  In the meantime, employers should absolutely be completing an accurate I-9 with their employees prior to putting an employee on payroll.

Once an employer does begin using the E-Verify system or another similar one, it is recommended they consistently use it for every employee to avoid discrimination issues. It is also not usually permitted to just stop using it once you have registered with the system to be submitting information for verification.  The current trend appears to lead to the thought that eventually use of this system, or another like it, will become nationally mandatory. Due to growing popularity, www.e-verify.gov website now has instructional videos, compliance assistance, and business search options.

This system is not however fail proof.  One of the bigger criticisms currently of the system is that it is all information based.  So, in our world of stolen identities and fraud, this could lead an employer being given information that the employee they are verifying is legal to work in the United States, but with it falling short of things like biometrics that could be false if someone has stolen documents or identity.  We are sure this will continue to evolve and improve in the process as time goes on.  If you have questions or would like more information about E-Verify, please contact your at Ketel Thorstenson team member.