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Employment Verification Laws

13. What are the “employee verification laws”?

The primary employment law concerning employee verification is the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). The IRCA requires that all employers complete and retain Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms for each individual they hire in the US. These forms seek to verify that individuals are legally permitted to hold employment within the United States based upon their citizenship or immigration status. Generally, an employee must be a citizen, lawful permanent resident, or holder of a work visa to qualify to hold employment. The employer is required to examine the employment eligibility and examine the documents an employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine. The employer must retain these forms and information for 3 years after the date of hire or for one year after employment is terminated, whichever is later.

•    Note: The new, federal E-verify program makes the I-9 employee verification process easier. An employer can enter an employee’s pertinent information and receive verification of employment eligibility.

•    Discussion: How do you feel about these federal regulations require verification of employment eligibility? Who or what is the government attempting to deter with this regulation? Do you believe these regulations are effective? Why or why not?

•    Practice Question: Gary is from Russia and recently moved to the United States to attend school. After graduating, he wants to remain in the United States and find employment. He approaches ABC Corp about a posted job. What procedure will ABC Corp undertake in verifying that Gary may legally work in the country?

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