Authors: David B. Weisenfeld and Melissa Silver, XpertHR Legal Editors

Three more mandatory E-Verify measures will take effect on January 1, 2013 in North Carolina, Tennessee and Pennsylvania respectively. E-Verify is a web-based system employers can use to determine the employment eligibility of newly-hired workers. While Congress made E-Verify voluntary, states are not prohibited from requiring participation. See Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, +131 S.Ct. 1968 (2011).

The North Carolina measure will require all employers with 100 or more employees to use the E-Verify system to check the work authorization of new hires. As of July 1, that law will expand to mandate E-Verify use for employers with 25 or more employees.

In Tennessee, employers with six to 199 employees will be required to use the E-Verify system effective January 1. Until now, only businesses with 200 or more employees were required to use E-Verify in the Volunteer State.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania's Public Works Verification Act also takes effect New Year's Day. The Act requires contractors and subcontractors on all public works projects to verify whether their workers are authorized to work in the US by using E-Verify. The Pennsylvania law applies to construction projects where the estimated cost is at least $25,000.

E-Verify already is required for either all or most employers in Arizona, Utah, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. A few other states have taken a similar stance to Pennsylvania and made its use mandatory only for public employers and/or contractors.

Additional Resources

Recruiting and Hiring > Preemployment Screening and Testing > Using E-Verify to Check Immigration Status

Form I-9 and Immigration Issues Resource Center

Recruiting and Hiring > Preemployment Screening and Testing: Tennessee > E-Verify

New E-Verify Law in Pennsylvania