Yesterday, the U.S. government officially delayed the applicability of the E-Verify requirement for federal contractors until February 20, 2009.

In November 2008, the Administration published a rule requiring businesses contracting with the federal government (“federal contractors”) to "verify the employment eligibility of: (1) all persons hired during the contract term by the contractor to perform employment duties within the United States; and (2) all persons assigned by the contractor to perform work within the United States on the Federal contract." The rule was to go into effect today, January 15, 2009, and contracts entered into on or after the effective date would include a clause requiring federal contractors to use the E-Verify program. For more information about the federal contractor E-Verify regulation, please click here.

In late December, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other representative organizations filed a federal lawsuit against the government over its federal contractor E-Verify program. Because of this lawsuit, the Administration has agreed to delay the applicability date of the rule until February 20th. The Administration will not use the E-Verify clause in federal contracts until that date. If the litigation cannot be resolved by February 20, 2009, there is a possibility that the applicability date could be pushed out further into the future.