The state of Minnesota has once again mandated E-Verify for state contractors. After Governor Mark Dayton dropped the requirements for E-Verify back in April, the electronic verification system was reintroduced under Minnesota’s final budget deal, which was approved in July. Under the new law, private businesses which provide more than $50,000 worth of services to the state must enroll in the program to be eligible for state contracting.
The use of E-verify for State employees continues to be suspended in Minnesota due to problems that arose in December of 2009. At that time the state was using a Texas Vendor called Lookout Services, which provided I-9 software to assist in Minnesota’s implementation of E-Verify. Unfortunately, it was discovered at that time that the names, birthdates, and social security numbers of about five hundred employees were made available to the public through Lookout’s website. Minnesota Public Radio in particular discovered that it could access state employee data on Lookout’s website without the necessity of a password or any encryption software, and found birthdates, hire dates, and other sensitive personal information for every state agency as well as for several private companies. This security breach highlights the importance of vetting the systems of electronic E-verify vendor agents to ensure the employee data will be safe and properly submitted to the E-Verify system.
State contractors in Minnesota should measure the cumulative value of their contracts and determine whetthr they will be affected by the new law. E-verify registration information is available at http://www.uscis.gov