Act No. 376
Governor Bobby Jindal signed into law a bill passed by the state Legislature targeted at discouraging the employment of unauthorized alien workers. Act No. 376, which became effective on August 15, 2011, prohibits private employers from bidding or otherwise contracting with a public entity for the physical performance of services within the state of Louisiana unless the private employer submits a sworn affidavit attesting: (i) that it is registered and participates in the E-Verify program, operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to verify that all of its employees in the state of Louisiana are legal citizens of the United States or legal aliens; and (ii) that it will continue, throughout the term of the public contract, to utilize such program to verify the legal status of all new employees in this state. Additionally, contractors should procure sworn affidavits from their subcontractors verifying identical compliance with the aforementioned requirements as to the use of E-Verify. A private employer that fails to abide by the provisions of Act No. 376 may be subject to the cancellation of any public contract, resulting in ineligibility for engaging in public contract work for a period of up to three years from the date the violation is discovered. This Act applies to contracts entered into or bids offered on or after January 1, 2012.
Act No. 402
Act No. 402, which was signed into law on July 1, 2011, amended La. R.S. 23:995 to require Louisiana employers to take further steps to ensure that their employees are legally authorized to work in the United States. Under this new law, employers may verify the citizenship or work authorization status of an employee either through E-Verify or by obtaining a picture identification of the employee and one of the following documents, of which the employer has to retain a copy for its records: (i) a U.S. birth certificate or certified birth card; (ii) a naturalization certificate; (iii) a certificate of citizenship; (iv) an alien registration receipt card; or (v) a U.S. immigration form I-94 (with employment authorized stamp). Act No. 402 creates a presumption of good faith for those employers that have utilized and relied on the accuracy of E-Verify in determining the employment eligibility of an employee. Furthermore, Act No. 402 increases the dollar amount of civil penalties and, when appropriate, provides for the suspension of an employer’s license or permit to do business when found in violation of La. R.S. 23:995, which prohibits any Louisiana employer from hiring an individual that is not lawfully entitled to work or reside in the United States.