The new E-Verify rule for federal contractors has a lot of employers wondering exactly who’s covered by the requirement — and what they have to do now.
To clear up some of the confusion, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published answers to a few of HR’s most common questions about federal contractors and E-Verify:
1. Who’s affected by the rule?
Companies will be required to use E-Verify when they enter into federal contracts with a work period of longer than 120 days and a value of more than $100,000. Also, subcontractors are covered by the rule when the prime contract meets those requirements and the subcontract is for services or construction with a value over $3,000.
2. Which employees must be verified?
Covered contractors are required to verify all new hires, as well as any existing employees assigned to the government contract. That includes employees who perform “substantial duties” under the contract, as opposed to those performing overhead or support work.
3. When do we have to enroll?
The rule went into effect on September 8. Any applicable federal contract signed after that date must include an “E-Verify clause” that requires contractors to use the system.
Companies not already signed up for E-Verify have to enroll within 30 days of being awarded the contract and must begin verifying new hires and current employees working on the contract within 90 days.
Of course, companies can sign up whenever they want, so current or prospective federal contractors might as well enroll before they’re required to.
When you enroll, choose “federal contractor” when asked, “Which category best describes your organization?”
4. What if we already have a government contract?
You won’t be required to sign up for E-Verify until you sign a new contract that contains the E-Verify clause.
5. We already enrolled in E-Verify, but not as a contractor? Do we have to re-enroll?
No, but if you aren’t enrolled as a federal contractor, you will need to update your company profile to categorize your company as a contractor.
For more information from USCIS, click here.