U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminded federal contractors and subcontractors that effective September 8, 2009, they “may be required” to use the E-Verify system to verify their employees’ eligibility to work in the United States if their contract includes the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause. The regulation states that federal contracts will be awarded only to employers who use E-Verify to check employee work authorization.

The E-Verify federal contractor rule extends use of the E-Verify system to cover both federal contractors and subcontractors, including those who receive American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. Applicable federal contracts awarded and solicitations issued on or after September 8, 2009, will include a clause committing government contractors to use E-Verify.

Companies awarded a contract with the E-Verify clause are now required to enroll in E-Verify within 30 days of the contract award date. With certain exceptions, E-Verify must be used to confirm that all new hires, whether employed on a federal contract or not, and existing employees directly working on these contracts are legally authorized to work in the United States.

More than 148,000 participating employers at nearly 560,000 worksites nationwide currently use E-Verify to electronically verify their workers’ employment eligibility, according to USCIS. The agency noted that since October 1, 2008, more than 7.8 million employment verification queries have been run through the system and approximately 96.9 percent of all queries are now automatically confirmed as work-authorized within 24 hours or less.

On September 24, 2009, three members of the Seyfarth Work Authorization Team (SWAT)—Partners Jim King and Angelo Paparelli, and Associate Nici Kersey—presented a webinar titled, “E-Verify for Federal Contractors: What Every Employer Must Know” to an audience of approximately 700 clients and friends of the firm.

Click here to download a copy of the webinar materials and the related FAQ document.