Immigration Law Update – March 2012

Today is March 1, 2012, and this is a friendly reminder that one month from today, on April 1, the E-Verify requirement for employers in Alabama becomes effective. If you have not already enrolled in E-Verify and you are an Alabama employer, you must do so sometime this month. I don’t recommend waiting until the last minute, as the enrollment process is more than just a few minutes, and I think there may be many who try to enroll just before the deadline which may bog down the E-Verify servers.

One question that I am getting frequently is whether employers should verify all of their existing employees through the E-Verify system after enrolling, and there seems to be some confusion and even some misinformation about that. With only one narrow exception, employers are not allowed to verify through E-Verify employees who were hired before the employer enrolled in E-Verify. An employer should only E-Verify employees hired after the employer enrolls in E-Verify. (The one narrow exception is for employers who have a federal contract containing Federal Acquisition Regulation, or FAR, clause. It requires all employees working on the federal contract to be verified using E-Verify.)

Of course, if you have any questions about compliance with this new law, with ensuring the eligibility of employees to work, or with any other employment issues, please contact us.