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  • Sale of Back Bay portfolio

Individuals In Some States Can Now Verify Work Authorization Status Before Seeking Employment Through the New E-Verify Self Check System

Berin Romagnolo March 22, 2011

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) launched a new E-Verify Self Check system yesterday, allowing individuals who have an address and are physically located in Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Mississippi, Virginia, or the District of Columbia to verify their work authorization status online for free before seeking or accepting employment.  The Self Check system is planned to expand to 16 states by September 2012 and nationwide soon thereafter, on a rolling basis.  The E-Verify Self Check system checks the individual's information against 455 million Social Security Administration (SSA) records and 80 million DHS records to determine work eligibility.  The individual will be alerted of any mis-matched information and errors and will be given instructions about how to correct these errors, so that inaccuracies will be resolved ahead of time, before seeking or securing employment.  This should decrease the number of errors and mis-matches employers experience, thereby decreasing the amount of time and resources employers will expend on verifying work authorization.

E-Verify Self-Check results are not shared with any of the workers' current or prospective employers.  Because situations can change in the time between the Self-Check results and the beginning of employment, the Self Check results cannot be relied upon by employers, and employers must still complete the I-9 form and E-Verify (if the employer utilizes E-Verify) for the worker.  Employers cannot use the Self-Check results to satisfy the I-9 form - only those documents on the I-9 List of Acceptable Documents can be used.  Employers cannot require job applicants and employees to use the Self-Check system, and any such requirement could lead to a discrimination or unfair labor practice charge.  Self Check can only be used to check the work authorization of the user, and identity assurance features in the system insures that it is not used to verify the work eligibility of others.

The USCIS estimates that there will be approximately 850,000 to 1 million queries in the first year of the program and approximately 8 million queries every year after the program is expanded nationwide.  The USCIS Fact Sheet on the E-Verify Self Check system is attached.

For more information on this topic, please contact Berin Romagnolo at bromagnolo@pbl.com.

This Alert is provided for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.  According to Mass. SJC Rule 3:07, this material may be considered advertising. ©2011 Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP.  All rights reserved.

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