E-verify Effective for Federal Contractors this Spring

Effective May 21, 2009, federal contractors and subcontractors will be required to start using the E-Verify system to verify their employees' eligibility to legally work in the U.S. The expansion of E-Verify.

to federal contractors is the result of an Executive Order issued by President Bush last summer that was designed to ensure that the federal government only did business with companies that had a legal workforce. Under this requirement, Federal contractors (and some subcontractors) will be required to use E-Verify to confirm the employment eligilbity of all persons hired during the contract term and to confirm the employment eligibility of current employees working under a government contract. The rule was originally scheduled to go into effect on January 15, 2009, but was pushed back to February 20, 2009, before being again pushed back to May 21, 2009.

The final rule now applies only to employers with a qualifying federal contract that is awarded on or after May 21, 2009. Only federal contracts that meet all of the following conditions will subject a contractor to the E-Verify requirement:

  • The contract has a period of performance longer than 120 days
  • The contract has a value above $100,000
  • The contract contains an E-Verify clause requiring the contractor to use E-Verify as a condition of the contract
  • The ontract was awarded on or after May 21, 2009

The rule also applies to subcontracts for services or construction with a value over $3,000 where the prime contract contains the E-Verify clause.

Contracts awarded prior to May 21, 2009 without the E-Verify clause are generally not bound by the rule. In addition, some contractors (such as institutions of higher education) may be able to limit their use of E-Verify to employees working on the Federal contract.

The extension of the E-Verify implementation period for Federal Contractors has no impact on an employer's need to register and use E-verify in order to qualify STEM graduates for extensions of their optional practical training period.

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