July 2010           

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E-Verify State Law Summary

A combination of State law mandates and the Federal Contractor (FAR) E-Verify rule (effective September 8, 2009) significantly increased the number of employers that have registered to use the program. Unfortunately, due to inconsistencies found from state to state, the varying laws serve to further confuse and overburden employers trying to achieve immigration-related compliance. It is critical for companies to carefully monitor changes in upcoming state laws, and to fully understand what they are responsible for when dealing with E-Verify.

States and localities are continuing to jump on the E-Verify bandwagon, and as of July 1, 2010, South Carolina will have one of the toughest E-Verify laws in the United States. When the next phase of the law takes effect, all South Carolina employers will be required to use E-Verify or employ only workers who possess or qualify to obtain a South Carolina driver’s license or identification card. Employers who fail to comply could be subject to fines of $100 to $1000 per violation. South Carolina has already audited over 1,500 employers under the current version of the law, which has applied to employers with more than 100 employees since July 1, 2009. Although the state has waived penalties for many first-time violators pending remediation, it expects to increase audits as small employers become subject to the law statewide.

The chart below serves as a sampling of State and local E-Verify laws. Please note that this information is fluid and contains only examples of local ordinances. It should not be relied upon for legal advice.



Private Employers Impacted

Federal, State, Public Employers & Government Contractors Impacted


The Legal Arizona Workers Act requires all Arizona employers to use E-Verify for all newly-hired employees, effective January 1, 2008.



On Dec. 31, 2009, Ordinance No. 934 went into effect requiring all employers in the city of Lancaster to use E-Verify.

In addition, as of July 1, 2007, all contractors for the City of Mission Viejo are required to use E-Verify.  Furthermore, as of July 1, 2008, all contractors for the city of Palmdale are required to use E-Verify for contracts exceeding $50,000 for any manner of construction, remodel, landscape, maintenance or repair services.



Since 2006, Colorado has required prospective government contractors to use E-Verify to ensure legal work status of all employees. In 2008, Colorado passed legislation requiring contractors with current state contracts to use E-Verify effective August 6, 2008.



Since May 11, 2010, all contractors (and subs-contractors) doing business with Hernando County are required to use E-Verify for all new hires.



Effective January 1, 2010, Georgia requires all public employers and government contractors to use E-Verify to verify the work authorization of their newly-hired employees.




As of July 1, 2009, Idaho requires all public employers to use “procedures to verify and ensure that all new employees with any agency of the State of Idaho are eligible for employment under federal and state law.”  Penalties include loss of public funding and cancellation of the contract.



Effective January 7, 2008, government contractors and their subcontractors must certify compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) and use E-Verify for contracts over $50,000.


The Mississippi Employment Protection Act requires all Mississippi employers to use E-Verify for new hires. The law went into effect for Mississippi employers with 250 or more employees on July 1, 2008, and for employers with 100 to 249 employees on July 1, 2009. Employers with 30 to 99 employees must comply by July 1, 2010, and employers with fewer than 30 employees must comply by July 1, 2011.

Contractors or subcontractors with a contract with any public employer must use E-Verify as of July 1, 2008.


Employers found to have knowingly employed, hired or continued to employ an undocumented worker are mandated to register for E-Verify as party of the penalty for their first offense.

Effective January 1, 2009, contractors and their subcontractors seeking to bid on contracts or renew pre-existing contracts of over $5,000 with the state or any political subdivision must enroll and participate in E-Verify and affirm that no unauthorized worker will perform services under the contract. 



Recipients of any contract awarded after October 1, 2009 must ensure that they and their subcontractors register and use E-Verify for new employees.

North Carolina


Effective January 1, 2007, all state agencies, offices and universities hired after effective date must use E-Verify.  Effective February 1, 2010, all contractors (and subcontractors) shall use E-Verify in Alamance County.



Recipients of any contract entered into after July 1, 2008 must ensure that they and their subcontractors register and use E-Verify or other “Status Verification System” for new employees.

Rhode Island

Proposed legislation that would cover all private employers is pending.

In March 2008, the governor issued an executive order requiring executive agencies as well as their grantees, contractors, subcontractors and vendors to use E-Verify.

South Carolina


Effective July 1, 2010, all public employers and public contractors in South Carolina are required to use the E-Verify database to electronically check and verify the employment eligibility of new employees.


As of January 01, 2008, use of E-Verify provides employers a “safe harbor” against penalties for employing an undocumented worker if E-Verify  was used for the employee in question.



As of July 1, 2010, either E-Verify or Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) participation is required in Utah for all private employers with 15 or more employees.

As of July 1, 2009, all contractors with physical services in Utah must register and participate in either E-Verify or the Social Security Number Verification System (SSNVS).



Effective December 2, 2012, all state agencies must use E-Verify. This requirement does not apply to private employers.



Effective October 6, 2009, all Pierce County contractors for road projects of a value greater than $100,000 and those applying for any other contracts of a value greater than $25,000 are required to use E-Verify for all new hires.