E-Verify for Federal Contractors Postponed Until June 30, 2009

May 2009Alerts Immigration Practice Alert

On April 20, 2009, the Obama administration agreed to postpone until June 30, 2009 - at the earliest - implementation of the executive order and related federal procurement law that require federal contractors and certain subcontractors to use E-Verify. Although there was no clear statement regarding the reason behind the latest postponement, it may continue to be related to the federal lawsuit filed on December 23, 2008, by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other parties (plaintiffs), which was one of the reasons for the previous postponements. The Obama administration has an extended opportunity to review the rule and either withdraw or modify it.

For specific information on the E-Verify Rule for Federal Contractors, please see Fox Rothschild's November2008 and January 2009 Alerts. Once implemented, certain federal contractors will be obligated to enroll in E-Verify and verify the work eligibility of all new employees as well as those current employees directly involved in the federal contract. The rule was originally set to go into effect on January 15, 2009, first postponed until February 20, 2009, then postponed until May 21, 2009, and now postponed until June 30, 2009.

This latest postponement provides federal contractors an additional reprieve from the special obligations outlined in the rule, including enrollment in the E-Verify program at all worksite locations. Employers with federal contracts now have even more time to determine the applicability of the new rule, prepare for its implementation (with appropriate plans for roll-out and staffing), as well as review and audit current I-9s to confirm compliance with applicable immigration laws.

Fox Rothschild recommends that employers take advantage of the extra time to perform an internal “check up” to examine immigration compliance levels, particularly since the implementation of the E-Verify rule will affect companies with qualifying federal contracts company-wide. Fox Rothschild also recommends a strategic private internal audit of I-9s, as well as an examination of hiring practices, policies and procedures.

Fox Rothschild will bring you updated news regarding the progress of this rule when further information is available.

For more information regarding this Alert, or if you require assistance with your company's immigration or employment issues, including IRCA compliance, social security mismatches, I-9s, raid planning, audits or investigations, please contact Alka Bahal at 973.994.7800 ([email protected] ) or any member of our Labor & Employment Department or Immigration Practice.