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Washington Labor & Employment Wire » U.S. Government Once Again Delays Implementation of E-Verify

U.S. Government Once Again Delays Implementation of E-Verify


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On April 17, 2009, the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Agency announced a third delay in the rule requiring the use of the E-Verify system, postponing the expected rollout date another six weeks to June 30, 2009.

Administered by USCIS and the Social Security Administration, E-Verify is an internet-based system that allows employers to verify employees’ work eligibility.  The currently voluntary system has been criticized for providing erroneous eligibility results due to name changes, citizenship status changes, and other data-entry or data processing errors.

Once implemented, the regulation will amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to require all federal contractors holding a contract with a performance period over 120 days and a value over $100,000, as well subcontractors providing services or construction with a value above $3,000, to use E-Verify to verify the employment eligibility of new hires and re-verify the employment eligibility of employees hired after November 6, 1985.

The postponement stays the requirement for federal contracting officers to include the new employment eligibility verification clause in any solicitation or contract prior to June 30.  The rule would also require the modification of contracts in existence prior to June 30 to include the clause for future orders, if a substantial portion of performance on the contract extends beyond December 30, 2009.  The postponement was announced in the Federal Register on April 17.

The final rule, arising out of Executive Order 12989 as amended by President George W. Bush on June 6, 2008, was originally scheduled to take effect on January 15, 2009.  However, the rule was postponed in January in response to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America v. Certoff, D. Md. No. 8:08-cv-3444) challenging the legality of the rule. Applicability of the rule has been extended two additional times to allow the Obama Administration the opportunity to review the rule prior to its implementation.