Employee Citizenship/Work Authorization Status Verification Requirements – E-Verify
Effective Aug. 15, 2011, all Louisiana employers will be expected to comply with a new Louisiana law that enhances their obligations to confirm the status of their employees’ U.S. citizenship or legal authorization to work in the United States.
How to Comply
Act 402 builds on existing law that requires all Louisiana employers to confirm the citizenship or
work authorization status of their Louisiana employees. The new law now specifies two ways to satisfy this requirement:
Act 376 will apply to private employers who bid on public entity projects or enter into contracts with a public
entity on or after Jan. 1, 2012. The law requires that private employers who bid on a public entity project or enter into
a contract agreement with a public entity for the physical performance of services, confirm in a sworn affidavit that the
company uses the E-Verify® system to validate the legal citizenship or legal alien status for all employees within the
United States. If the employer is awarded a contract, he is required to E-Verify all new employees in Louisiana hired
through the duration of the contract. The requirement applies to both general contractors and their subcontractors.
In addition to a picture identification, employees must provide to their employers one of the following
to determine if the worker is authorized to work in the United States:
- U.S. birth certificate or certified birth card
- Naturalization certificate
- Certificate of citizenship
- Alien registration receipt card
- U.S. immigration form I-94, with employment authorized stamp.
Employers are required to keep a copy of the documentation for their records.
Employers may opt to use the federal E-Verify® system. Employers who use E-Verify are not subject to civil penalties if an E-Verified employee is later found to be working illegally in Louisiana. More information on E-Verify is available at the bottom of this webpage.
Act 402: Civil penalties for violations:
- First violation - $500 for each alien employed, hired, recruited, or referred in violation of this law.
- Second violation - $1,000 for each alien.
- Third violation - $2,500 for each alien and the suspension of the violator’s permit or
license to do business in this state for a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of six months.
Act 376: Any contractor found to be in violation may be subject to cancellation of any public
contract, and will be considered ineligible for any other public projects for up to three years from the
date the violation was discovered.
Both laws include the provision that any employer who E-Verifies an employee who is later found to
be illegal will not be penalized, nor will the employer be held civilly or criminally liable due to inaccurate E-Verify reports.
E-Verify is a free, Internet-based system operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the Social Security Administration that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment authorization of their newly hired employees.
Housed on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website, the E-Verify web section includes a
variety of self-directed aids on how to use the service as well as information for both employers and workers.
Louisiana Workers Can Self Check Employment Eligibility
Also effective Aug. 15, 2011, the E-Verify system has been expanded to allow workers in Louisiana
to check their own U.S. employment eligibility status.
E-Verify Self Check is a voluntary, free online service that benefits
workers by giving them information about their federal employment eligibility records, as well as guidance
on how to correct potential record discrepancies. Self Check also benefits U.S. businesses by reducing the
number of E-Verify data mismatches.
E-Verify Self Check does not replace an employer’s responsibility in regard to employment verification,
nor can an employer require anyone to use it, according to the USCIS.
Learn more about E-Verify®
For employers: How to get started with E-Verify®
For workers How to use Self Check