The HR Silo for the Professional and Executive Development Committee had its inaugural seminar today. Mark Baker, Partner and leader of Holland & Knight's Labor and Employment Practice, presented an overview of E-Verify and the proposed changes to the FAR. Key points of the seminar:
- Today, participation in E-Verify is voluntary.
- E-Verify is not new; it's been in use since 1997.
- The system is a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA).
- There are new enhancements to E-Verify to minimize tentative non-confirmation (TNC) and mismatches.
- If an employer uses E-Verify, certain optional practical training (OPT) F-1 visa holders can extend their training period by 17 additional months.
- If an employer uses E-Verify, they must follow certain procedures including posting a notice to all applicants and employees that they use E-Verify and how to handle a TNC.
- E-Verify remains voluntary; the executive order in June 2008 resulted in proposed regulations to amend the FAR and make it mandatory for federal contractors to use E-Verify for future contracts. Again, these are proposed regulations.
- The proposed regulations would flow down to most subcontractors.
- The proposed regulations have both advocates and detractors. There is likely to be litigation and delay in a final regulation.
- The next administration will review the executive order (as is typical for a new President) and may delay or rescind the order.
- E-Verify does not replace the I-9 form or any of the current I-9 procedures. In fact, the I-9 is required to use E-Verify.
- E-Verify is not a safe harbor. If an employer uses E-Verify, it is still subject to enforcement actions and challenges/lawsuits.
- At this time, enrollment in E-Verify is not required.
- You can find information on E-Verify at www.uscis.gov/e-verify.
These are just general notes and are not intended to replace legal counsel or professional interpretation of the regulations.