The Department of Homeland Security has announced an effective date of September 8, 2009, for the rule that will mandate E-Verify use by certain federal contractors and subcontractors. E-Verify is a free Internet-based system operated by Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration that allows participating employers to use new hires' personal identification information to verify employment eligibility.

The rule will only affect federal contractors who are awarded a new contract after September 8, 2009, that includes the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause (73 FR 67704). Federal contractors may not use E-Verify to verify current employees until the rule becomes effective and they are awarded a contract that includes the FAR E-Verify clause. However, all employers, including federal contractors, may enroll in E-Verify at any time without waiting for the applicability date. Under the final rule, employers are required to enroll in E-Verify if and when they are awarded a federal contract or subcontract that requires participation in E-Verify as a term of the contract. An employer that has already enrolled in E-Verify, and is awarded a federal contract after September 8, 2009, will need to update its company profile through the “Maintain Company” page once the contract has been awarded. Employers must also check whether the states in which they have operations have enacted laws requiring the use of E-Verify.

Additional information concerning E-Verify may be found at www.uscis.gov/E-Verify (in particular, see the Frequently Asked Questions available on the site).