California Restricts Employers’ Use of E-Verify

By Michael Klazema on 9/24/2015

The new law (Cal. Labor Code § 2814) will make it unlawful for an employer to use the federal electronic-employment verification system known as E-Verify to check the employment authorization status of an existing employee or an applicant who has not been offered employment at a time or in a manner that (a) is not required by federal law or (b) is not authorized under any federal agency memorandum of understanding governing the use of the E-Verify system.

According to the legislation, employers are permitted to use the E-Verify system only:

  1. When an offer of employment has been made; or
  2. When:
    1. The use of the E-Verify system is done in accordance with 8 U.S.C. § 1324a which allows E-Verify screening only when hiring, recruiting, or referring for employment; and
    2. It is authorized under a federal agency memorandum of understanding governing the use of the E-Verify system; or
  3. When required by federal law; or
  4. When it is a condition of receiving federal funds.

The law also places certain requirements on employers when a tentative non-confirmation is issued by the Social Security Administration or the United States Department of Homeland Security indicating that the information entered in E-Verify did not match federal records. In these cases, employers must comply with the required employee notification procedures under any memorandum of understanding governing the use of the E-Verify system. Employers must also furnish the employee any notification issued by the agencies containing information specific to the E-Verify case or any tentative non-confirmation notice, as soon as practicable.

Penalties for violations of the law are significant. An employer could be assessed civil penalties up to $10,000 for each violation. Each unlawful use of the E-Verify system on an employee or applicant constitutes a separate violation.

What This Means to You:

  • California is placing restrictions, requirements, and severe penalties on employers when using the federal E-Verify system.
  • You should determine if you have employees in California.
  • If you do, train employees who are responsible for using the E-Verify system to comply with these state restrictions and requirements.

California Assembly Bill 622 is available here for review:

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