What Employers Need to Know about E-Verify+

Paulette Stout

E-Verify is a joint program run by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) that’s used by employers to verify the employment eligibility of newly hired workers. In 2024, the program is getting an update called E-Verify+ which aims to further reduce the burden on both employers and employees. Here’s what organizations should expect.

What is E-Verify?

The goal of the E-Verify program is to ensure workers being hired are legally allowed to work in the United States. It requires employers to begin the verification process, usually within the first three days after hire. Organizations first have an employee complete Form I-9, which includes information employers later enter into E-Verify. The same rules apply if the worker is remote.

Who must use E-Verify?

US states and local jurisdictions have differing rules about who must use E-Verify. These conventions fall into four categories: 1) E-Verify is mandatory for all employers, 2) E-Verify is mandatory for public employers only,  3) Use of E-Verify is voluntary for all employers, and 4) E-Verify rules follow local jurisdiction standards. 

What types of employment behaviors are banned 

Beyond its stated purpose of verifying employment status, the legislation sets forth a host of rules intended to make employers operate in good faith when it comes to the E-Verify process. The rules also are meant to ensure that workers are treated fairly and not discriminated against based on their employment status during the verification process.

The E-Verify rules forbid employers from doing any of the following:

  • Knowingly hiring a person who is not authorized to work.
  • Hiring any individual without verifying identity to work authorization.
  • Continuing to employ a person when the employer knows or should know that the person is not authorized to work. 
  • Knowingly forging, counterfeiting, altering, or falsifying any document to satisfy any immigration-related requirements.
  • Knowingly using, accepting, or receiving any false document to satisfy any immigration-related requirement.
  • Discriminating in hiring or firing against a citizen or an intending citizen based on national origin or citizenship status. 
  • Intentionally requiring an employee to present any specific document or combination of documents for Form I-9 purposes.
  • Intentionally requiring an employee to present more or different documents than are minimally required for the employment verification process.
  • Intentionally refusing to honor documents that reasonably appear to be genuine.

Workers are protected from the above misbehaviors and should know their rights when it comes to fair administration of the E-Verify process. 

What to expect with the new E-Verify+

E-Verify+ will be rolled out throughout 2024, so there is no official launch date. Employers should keep an eye on the E-Verify website for announcements. However, there are three key changes meant to shift the administrative burden from employers to employees/new hires and improve overall efficiency. 

Who uploads worker information to E-Verify?

While the current E-Verify system requires all the upload, administration, and follow-up to funnel through the employer, E-Verify+ changes that. Instead of employers uploading the Form I-9 data into the E-Verify system, under E-Verify+ employees handle this work.

Under E-Verify+, employees are allowed to enter their own personal information and documents into the system. This better safeguards the new hire’s personal information while reducing clerical errors by employers and reducing their oversight.

Who gets notified about employee status?

Currently, employers handle all communication about a new hire’s E-Verify case and are responsible for worker notification. Under E-Verify+, workers get direct notifications about their employment status. This also enables workers to quickly know if any further action is needed to determine their employment eligibility. This new approach streamlines the process by no longer requiring employers to deliver Further Action Notices.

How does the E-Verify+ streamline administration of employee verification?

Another benefit of the soon-to-launch E-Verify+ is that workers will be able to carry their verification status over to new employers. Employees can simply update and share their status with new employers from E-Verify+. Similarly, instead of employers having to manage multiple, separate E-Verify cases, E-Verify+ enables organizations to manage all their cases in one place. 

The takeaway

Changes are coming to E-Verify in 2024. Rollout is slated to happen throughout the year and will feature three major changes to how the program functions. The goal of the program update is to streamline and simplify the process to reduce the administration burden on employers while also offering new protections to workers. 

The three big changes announced are that employees will enter their own information and documents into E-Verify, receive direct notifications about their case status, and be able to carry over verification status to new employers. This new approach offers more immediate answers for workers who may need to take additional action on their cases while eliminating the need for organizations to administer Further Action Notices. Overall, it should further streamline what can already be a seamless process to verify a worker’s eligibility to work in the United States. 

Paulette Stout Author of her debut novel, Love, Only Better, Paulette Stout is the gold-star wordsmith and owner of her content marketing agency, Media Goddess Inc., where she crafts content for her list of global clients. Prior to MGI, Paulette led content and design teams at several tech companies, and one educational publisher where her elimination of the Oxford comma caused a near riot. You can usually find Paulette rearranging words into pleasing patterns while wearing grammar t-shirts. Connect with Paulette on Facebook and Instagram at @paulettestoutauthor and on Twitter at @StoutContent.
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