New E-Verify Rules for Federal Contractors Take Effect September 8, 2009

The New E-Verify Rules take effect September 8, 2009—despite legal challenges. The federal district court in Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, et al. v. Chertoff, et al. found valid and enforceable the new Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs), first proposed under the Bush administration and adopted under the Obama administration.

The new FARs will require those with federal contracts of $100,000 or more, and subcontractors with projects of $3,000 or more, to use E-Verify to confirm work authorization for all current and new employees working on a federal contract.

They also require that a company with covered federal contracts use E-Verify to confirm the work authorization of all new employees it hires after it is awarded a federal contract, whether or not the employees will work on the federal contract. The new FARs will not apply to contracts for commercially available, off-the-shelf items or "COTS" (i.e., bulk purchase of items in the same form as available in the commercial marketplace), contracts for work performed outside the United States, and contracts with a performance period lasting fewer than 120 days. Federal contractors should not use E-Verify to verify the work authorization of current employees until after the effective date.

Click here for a one-page summary of the timeline to complete the I-9 and E-Verify process. Also, Ballard Spahr now has available the new I-9 color-coded templates to help managers fully and properly complete I-9s. Companies should take steps to complete internal audits regarding immigration compliance, including a review of I-9s, W-9s, handbooks and policies, procedures to respond to government investigations, process to handle SSA no-match letters, wage and hour practices, and federal and state contractor compliance requirements.