REPS. CALVERT, SMITH AND OTHERS INTRODUCE MANDATORY EMPLOYMENT VERIFICATION
Bill Makes Rep. Calvert’s E-Verify Program Mandatory
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 -
Today Reps. Calvert (R-Calif.), Smith (R-Texas), Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), John Carter (R-Texas), Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), Gary Miller (R-Calif.), Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), and Gallegly (R-Calif.) introduced the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2164) which will make employment verification mandatory nationwide.
“After several months of deliberation and thoughtful discussion, I am pleased to join with my colleagues to introduce the Legal Workforce Act which would make the use of E-Verify mandatory,” said Rep. Calvert. “The Legal Workforce Act is a rational approach to mandatory employment verification and includes additional protections for American workers’ Social Security information. It provides for a two-year phase in while giving the agricultural industry three years to comply. Once mandatory employment verification is the law, an agricultural guest worker program should follow to ensure the agriculture community is able to obtain the labor they need.
“It is hard to believe 16 years after I first introduced the initial version of E-Verify, the Basic Pilot Program, it is now on the cusp of becoming the law of the land. I would like to sincerely thank Chairman Smith and his staff for the hard work they have put into the legislation. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass the Legal Workforce Act and solve the job magnet piece of the illegal immigration problem.”
E-Verify, created by Rep. Calvert in 1996 through legislation, is the only tool available to employers to check the legal status of newly hired employees. It is web-based, 99.5% accurate and free to employers.
Below is a summary of some of the major components in H.R. 2164.
Repeals I-9 System: Repeals the current paper-based I-9 system and replaces it with a completely electronic work eligibility check.
Gradual Phase-In: Phases-in mandatory E-Verify participation for new hires in six month increments beginning on the date of enactment. Within six months of enactment, businesses having more than 10,000 employees are required to use E-Verify. Within 12 months after enactment, businesses having 500 to 9,999 employees are required to use E-Verify. Within 18 months after enactment, businesses having 20 to 499 employees must use E-Verify. And within 24 months after enactment, businesses having 1 to 19 employees must use E-Verify.
Agriculture: Requires that employees performing “agricultural labor or services” are only subject to an E-Verify check within 36 months of the date of enactment. Under the bill, an individual engaged in seasonal agricultural employment is not considered a new hire if the individual starts work with an employer for whom they have previously worked.
Federal Preemption: Preempts state laws mandating E-Verify use for employment eligibility purposes but retains the ability of states and localities to condition business licenses on the requirement that the employer use E-Verify in good faith under the federal law.
Safe Harbor: Grants employers safe harbor from prosecution if they use the E-Verify program in good faith, and through no fault of theirs, receive an incorrect eligibility confirmation.
A copy of the bill can be found at http://judiciary.house.gov/news/pdfs/Legal%20Workforce%20Act.pdf