On August 1, 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the "Employee Verification Amendment Act of 2008," a bill reauthorizing the “E-Verify” electronic employment eligibility verification program for five more years. The bill passed by a vote of 407 to 2. For employers, this means that all of the State and Local legislation passed over the last few years mandating participation in the E-Verify program can remain in effect without interruption for five more years. Also, this eliminates a potential road block for the proposed rule pursuant to Executive Order mandating E-Verify for all federal contractors.
In passing the Employee Verification Amendment Act of 2008, Congress placed some additional responsibilities on the agencies administering the E-Verify program, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The agencies must enter into an agreement to provide funds to the SSA for the full costs for acquiring and maintaining equipment and for responding to individuals who receive a tentative nonconfirmation, which is a notification from the E-Verify system that the computerized government records cannot confirm that the individual is authorized to work in the United States. Furthermore, the agencies must provide an annual accounting and reconciliation of the actual costs of the program, which will be reviewed by the Offices of Inspectors General for SSA and DHS.
Congress also mandated that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conduct two studies of the E-Verify program: (1) to determine and analyze the causes of erroneous tentative nonconfirmations; the processes by which they are remedied, and the effect of such erroneous tentative nonconfirmations on individuals, employers, and federal agencies; and (2) to examine and provide a report regarding the direct and indirect costs to small businesses (50 employees or less) to participate in the E-Verify program and what steps are being taken to minimize the economic impact on those employers.