November 30, 2023
Ohio legislators recently introduced legislation concerning the E-Verify system. According to the legislators, it would require many employers to utilize the federal program when verifying the work authorization of new hires. Affected employers include contractors and larger companies.
A Look at the Legislation
State Representatives Scott Wiggam and D.J. Swearingen introduced this legislation to the Ohio House of Representatives. Due to the recent introduction, the proposition has yet to receive a bill number. As such, it still awaits an assignment to a House committee.
The bill would require certain employers to use the E-Verify system. This system is maintained by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and requires employers to sign up to use it. Employers can use this I-9 management tool with E-Verify integration to quickly incorporate E-Verify in their employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9). It allows them to instantly compare the employee’s I-9 information with records from federal databases electronically.
After comparing the information, the system will inform the employer of the employee’s eligibility to work in the United States. Employers must perform this process within three days of the employee’s starting date. In most cases, the system confirms the employee’s eligibility within seconds.
Requirements with E-Verify
Using E-Verify is voluntary for private employers, excluding contractors for the federal government. However, this bill would change this practice. It would require some employers within Ohio to use E-Verify when verifying new hires’ employment eligibility.
The Ohio House of Representatives also commented on the proposed legislation and its effects. According to their announcement, it would require the following:
- “All contractors and sub-contractors on public works construction projects [must] use E-Verify for its project workforce;
- Contractors and subcontractors on all other construction projects [must] use E-Verify for their project workforce, apart from single, double, or triple family residential construction or construction for agricultural purposes and
- Employers of seventy-five or more employees [must] use E-Verify.”
After its recent proposal, the unnumbered bill will face several hurdles. Legislators expect it will also undergo some modifications before attaining passage. Regardless of the outcome, employers should consider reviewing their I-9 process. They should ensure that it follows existing regulations.
Unfortunately, the complex regulatory requirements and frequent changes can prove challenging for employers. Due to states ‘ differing needs, it has proven especially difficult for many to ensure compliance with state and federal laws. Utilizing an I-9 management system with E-Verify integration has helped many employers. It offers step-by-step guidance, a fully electronic verification process, and reminders when further action is required.