For the most part, employers are required by the Dept of Home Land Security to verify an employee’s right to legally hold a job in the US. Employers usually do this with the the use of the I-9 form that requires the employee to furnish proof of a right to work legally in the US by providing a drivers license and other supporting documents, like a social security card, or a passport. In the past, there has been no way for the employer to verify the information provided on the I-9 form. (In other words, perhaps the individual provided phony ID cards.)
E-Verify is a system developed by the HSA and the SSA to let employers know instantly if the new hire is legally eligible to work in the US based on the information provided to the employer by the individual. There has been a big push by HSA to make E-Verify mandatory in all states. But many states have been slow to utilize the system for a few reasons. First, it took the Feds much more time than they anticipated to get a reliable system up and running. (The Feds are now very confident about the reliability of the E-Verify system.) Second, many employers resisted the added burden and cost (primarily in time spent) of using a system that created another roadblock to hiring workers.
However the bugs are out of the system for the most part, and with the current political environment it is estimated that the Feds and states will be cracking down more on employers who hire individuals who do not have the legal right to work in the US. Thus the use of the E-Verify system is growing as more and more states require its use. Note The Federal government and most states require the use of E-Verify for hiring government agency employees and for contractors and their employees who do work for the government.
E-Verify requirements for private employers vary by state, and are changing all the time. Tennessee just updated their requirements (2017). The Advi$or encourages you to check with your state government to determine your requirements for your business.
Here is a map that defines E-Verify requirements by State. (As noted above, it may not be right up-to-date.)
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