A lawsuit filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Society for Human Resource Management, among others, will delay the required use of E-Verify for federal contractors, and could be a sign of opposition to the required use of the program by all employers. On January 9, the Chamber of Commerce announced an accord reached with the federal government to delay the effective date of the E-Verify federal contractor regulation until February 20 — instead of the original deadline of January 15.
The announcement of the temporary suspension came after the Chamber and SHRM filed a December 23 lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council. The suit charged that the E-Verify regulations violate laws against mandating “any person or other entity to participate in a pilot program” such as E-Verify. The federal government has argued the rule doesn’t violate any statutes because employers are not required to be government contractors or subcontractors.
Still, the Chamber and SHRM he plaintiffs contend that the E-Verify requirement:
- violates at least two federal acts
- exceeds the statutory authority of the E-Verify program
- is unconstitutional, and
- wasn’t implemented under procedures required in the Federal Register.
What’s it all mean, especially for employers who aren’t federal contractors? No one knows for sure until everything’s played out in the courts, but it seems likely that if the Chamber of Commerce and SHRM are successful in getting the E-Verify requirment overturned for contractors, there’s little hope that the program will be made mandatory for other employers.