• E-Verify Requirements for Private Employers in N.C. Have Begun
  • October 17, 2012 | Authors: Erin Jones Adams; Drew H. Davis; Jeffrey D. Patton
  • Law Firm: Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC - Winston-Salem Office
  • Last summer, North Carolina adopted into law "An Act to Require Counties, Cities and Employers to Use the Federal E-Verify Program to Verify the Work Authorization of Newly Hired Employees" (the "Act"). What this means to private employers is that depending on the size of your workforce, you may be required to use the E-Verify program for all hiring.

    Effective October 1, 2012, all North Carolina employers with more than 500 employees must use the E-Verify program. Starting January 1, 2013, North Carolina employers with more than 100 employees must use E-Verify. In the final rollout, effective July 1, 2013, all North Carolina employers with more than 25 employees must begin using E-Verify.

    Under the Act, in addition to the standard I-9 obligations, covered employers will be required to check information using the federal E-Verify database, a free Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). E-Verify will then verify whether each new hire is authorized for employment. In the event an employee is not confirmed by E-Verify, the employee will have a right to challenge the determination, and the employer may not be able to terminate the employment until certain conditions are met.

    The Act also imposes additional record-keeping requirements on employers. All E-Verify documentation on each employee must be retained for the duration of the worker's employment and for at least one year after the employment relationship ends. Employers must enter into a written agreement with DHS to use E-Verify.

    Any individual who believes an employer is not complying with E-Verify may file a complaint with the North Carolina Department of Labor. Employers failing to comply with the Act's requirements face civil penalties up to $10,000 and fines beginning at $1,000 per employee without E-Verify work authorization.

    If you have not had recent I-9 training that included E-Verify obligations, you are encouraged to begin training today for these upcoming requirements.