Tennessee Now Requires E-Verify

Employers with over 50 employees now required to use E-Verify.

Starting January 1, 2017, all Tennessee employers with 50 or more employees will be required to use the E-Verify system in order to verify the employment eligibility of workers hired on or after January 1. This new requirement results from a 2016 amendment to the Tennessee Lawful Employment Act (TLEA) of 2011.workplace-1245776_640

Previously, employers with 6 or more employees must either use E-Verify or request and retain certain documents from each employee. For employers with 50 or more employees, the new law eliminates the document retention option and require the mandatory use of E-Verify.

E-Verify is a web based system that compares information provided by the employee in completing the Form I-9 to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records and confirms employment eligibility.

Legal experts note that the law is not clear about the location of employers who are covered by the requirement and the location of workers who trigger the E-Verify requirement. The state’s web site on the law refers to “Tennessee employers” without defining the term…. Are they located in Tennessee or do they just employ Tennessee workers? However, the TDOL web site does note that for a company located in Tennessee, employees count “whether working in Tennessee or outside of Tennessee.” The professionals note that it is better to be safe than sorry.

HR and legal professionals also note that while past enforcement of the law may have been lax, there are recent indications that there is an increase in TLEA enforcement as Tennessee employers have begun to receive notices of violation, including fines. All employers should review their procedures and records to ensure compliance.

Penalties for Violation

Penalties for violation of the TLEA include possible suspension of your business licenses, being publicly listed as non-compliant on the state website, and monetary fines as follows:

  • First offense – $500 penalty + $500 per employee or non-employee not verified or copy of documentation maintained;
  • Second offense – $1,000 penalty + $1,000 per employee or non-employee not verified or copy of documentation maintained; and
  • Third offense – $2,500 penalty + $2,500 per employee or non-employee not verified or copy of documentation maintained.

The Advi$or would like to remind our readers that Time & Pay provides a very efficient and cost effective Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that makes collection of employee documents and use of E-Verify quick and easy. Our ATS also makes applying for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) a breeze. WOTC can save your business thousands of dollars a year with every new hire!

Author: Andy Scheu
Andy was just six years old when his father started Time & Pay and has watched it grow from a one-man show to an organization with more 15 employees, helping over 800 companies across the country. He was honored to become a part of Time & Pay in 2010 as an account executive and began growing their customer base in the Chattanooga, TN area. Now acting as Director of Marketing and Sales, Andy works to ensure that Time & Pay remains loyal to the mission established by its founder over 25 years ago..."to be the provider by choice of quality, cost effective Payroll, Timekeeping and HR solutions to businesses, that will maximize customer satisfaction, while maintaining our profitability.”

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