E-Verify, the Internet-based system operated by United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) that allows employers to verify the employment eligibility of employees, is currently voluntary at the federal level. However, certain states have acted to require some or all employers to use the system. Arizona has the most sweeping law, requiring all employers to use E-Verify.

Starting July 1, 2009, South Carolina employers with 100 or more employees must perform a special verification for newly-hired employees. These employers will be required either to use E-Verify or review a qualifying driver’s license. State contractors with 500 or more employees became subject to the same requirements on January 1, 2009 (see Ogletree Deakins’ June 4, 2008 E-Alert for more information on the law).

The Mississippi Employment Protection Act (S.B. 2988) phases in a requirement on employers to participate in E-Verify. On July 1, 2008, all Mississippi agencies and political subdivisions, all public contractors, and private employers with 250 or more employees became subject to the E-Verify requirement. On July 1, 2009, private employers with 100 or more employees will also become subject to the requirement (see Ogletree Deakins’ April 4, 2008 E-Alert for a complete review of the Mississippi law).