E-Verify is a federal, Internet-based system used to determine whether an employee is lawfully able to work in the United States.  The system is managed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and works by comparing employment eligibility data collected on I-9 forms with records maintained by the U.S. Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

The use of E-Verify is voluntary at the national level unless you are a federal contractor; however, many states have enacted laws mandating or limiting the system’s use.  These laws range from mandatory E-Verify use by all companies in Alabama, to the prohibition of mandatory E-Verify ordinances in state municipalities in California.  State legislation most frequently addresses use of E-Verify for government employers, contractors, and subcontractors.

Texas will soon join the list of states with E-Verify laws in place.  On June 10, 2015, Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law making E-Verify Mandatory for all state agencies in Texas.  The law will take effect Sept. 1, 2015.  More specifically S.B. 374 gives the Texas Workforce Commission the power to control E-Verify use by state agencies.  Like many similar state laws in force, the new Texas law will not apply to private companies that contract with state agencies.  The full text of the law can be found at Texas Legislature Online.