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Payroll Management Assistance with E-Verify
How a PEO can help employment eligibility verification
Federal law requires that employers only hire individuals who may legally work in the United States. This is limited to either U.S. citizens or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. An online portal was created by the Department of Homeland Security to help businesses check credentials of candidates seeking work. E-Verify is a free Internet-based system that allows companies to determine the eligibility of their employees to work within the United States, when an I-9 form is received. Once a business is registered with E-Verify, it is the most efficient way to ensure that they have a legal workforce.
Navigating E-Verify and I-9 compliance
At times, there may be discrepancies between what your employee has provided and what information the E-Verify system contains. There are several common reasons for the portal to not immediately authorize an employee. In most instances, one of the following will happen:
- The social security number and name match existing records and you receive a message stating that the employee is authorized to work.
- The social security number and name match, but the system cannot verify whether that employee is authorized to work in the U.S. This triggers a message that says the DHS is working to verify this authorization and will usually provide an answer within one to three days.
- The DHS cannot confirm that the individual is authorized to work in the U.S. It then notifies you to inform the employee to report directly to the DHS to clear up the issue.
- The social security number and name do not match. The employee is directed to contact the Social Security Administration to clear up the issue.
Most issues will be resolved within a week of submitting an online I-9, but in more involved and unusual cases, the employee will have to submit documentation and photographs to establish their identity and authorization to work in the U.S. If the employee cannot establish these, then an employer must terminate them to avoid liability.