As of January 1 2013, businesses in North Carolina with at least 100 but fewer than 500 employees within the state must register for and start using the federal E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system.
The requirement takes effect for companies with at least 25 but fewer than 100 employees starting July 1, 2013. It started for employers with 500 or more people working in North Carolina on Oct. 1, 2012, and plays a key role in sustaining the effectiveness of North Carolina background screening programs.
E-Verify is a free Internet-based system that allows employers to determine employment authorization by checking an employee’s documentation against Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration databases. It applies to certain federal contractors, but also is being adopted by states, regardless of federal contracts being involved.
County and municipal governments and public universities in North Carolina were required to register and participate in E-Verify by Oct. 1, 2011. Private businesses in North Carolina already must verify the eligibility of current employees if the employer was awarded a federal contract on or after Sept. 8, 2009 that contains the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause.
Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement has levied substantial fines against employers enrolled in E-Verify for immigration-related offenses. Civil penalties for violations of North Carolina’s E-Verify law are assessed by the N.C. commissioner of labor range from $1,000 to $10,000.
This requirement has been and will continue to be phased in, in the following manner:
- October 1, 2012, for employers that employ 500 or more employees;
- January 1, 2013, for employers that employ 100 or more but fewer than 500 employees; and
- July 1, 2013, for employers that employ 25 or more but fewer than 100 employees.
For any questions on how the E-Verify laws will affect your business, and how to be compliant, contact us for more information.