The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is going to let the “no match” rule slide for federal contractors, according to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Instead of the “no match” regulation, DHS is promoting the use of its E-Verify system.
Here’s the chain of events that led to the department’s decision to forgo the “no match” rule in favor of E-Verify:
- In fall 2008, under the Bush administration, federal contractors were required to enroll in E-Verify and use it to verify existing employees working on federal projects.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce — along with several HR groups — challenged DHS’ E-Verify requirement.
- Parties in litigation reached an agreement on the effective start date of the rule, which is currently scheduled for September 8. This agreement negates the need for the “no-match” rule, according to DHS.
- If the agreement is accepted by the court, Congress will likely take action to amend the law: to make E-Verify mandated — rather than voluntary — for federal contractors.
The silver lining for federal contractors: It looks like you can probably ignore any no-match letters that might come straggling in. DHS won’t be wasting its efforts enforcing the old requirements that came with receiving no-match letters.
The dark, looming cloud for all employers: If Congress is willing to pass legislation mandating E-Verify for federal contractors, it may also decide to extend mandatory E-Verify enrollment for all employers.
Do you think Congress mandating E-Verify for federal contractors is the first step in requiring private-sector employers to use the system, too? Let us know in the comments section below.