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Utah Joins In E-Verify Requirement

Labor & Employment Law Alert Eric D. Ledbetter, Grant Sovern, Lisa D. Duran, Otto W. Immel

Utah recently became the fourth state to effectively require private employers to use E-Verify, the federal database for checking the identity and work authorization status of employees. The new law, which goes into effect on July 1, 2010, applies to all private employers in Utah with fifteen or more employees. Companies that fail to comply by that date are prohibited from hiring new employees within the state.

The law offers protection for E-Verify compliant companies against state civil litigation in Utah with respect to the knowing employment of unauthorized workers and to certain types of immigration-related discrimination. However, it does not provide protection against federal litigation, which makes up the bulk of civil enforcement in this area.

The law creates a voluntary online registry for companies who wish to publish their participation in the federal E-Verify program. It also specifically exempts employees who are working lawfully in the U.S. in a temporary H-2A or H-2B capacity, such as farm workers and short-term laborers.

E-Verify remains largely voluntary at the federal level, with only federal contractors currently being required to use it.  Utah joins three other states (Arizona, Mississippi and South Carolina) in effectively requiring E-Verify by private employers at the state level. There are an additional ten states that require E-Verify for limited types of employers, such as state contractors and public agencies.

Quarles & Brady will be offering a free seminar on E-Verify to help employers maintain their E-Verify compliance. The seminar will be held on May 25, 2010 in Quarles & Brady's downtown Chicago office. It will also be available online in webinar format. Please stay tuned for details at www.quarles.com/events.

For more information, please contact your Quarles & Brady attorney or one of the following to help with E-Verify, I-9 and Immigration issues: Eric Ledbetter at (312) 715-5018 / eric.ledbetter@quarles.com, Grant Sovern at (608) 283-2668 / grant.sovern@quarles.com, Lisa Duran at (602) 229-5225 / lisa.duran@quarles.com or Otto Immel at (239) 659-5041 / otto.immel@quarles.com.