The New Employee Verification Act

One of the bills proposed this year that will affect the HR community is the New Employee Verification Act of 2008 (a.k.a. the New Employee Verification Act, the Employee Verification Act of 2008, NEVA). The bill was introduced by Representative Sam Johnson of (R-Texas) and, if passed, would replace the current E-Verify system operated by the Department of Homeland Security.

What is it?

The proposed bill would effectively replace the current E-Verify system of verifying new hires. The new legislation’s purpose is to prevent unauthorized work in the United States by requiring verification of all new hires through the use of an electronic, reliable, and more secure system than currently exists. (Occupational Health & Safety) The system will also rely on a biometric system of verification, utilizing a biometric characteristic (such as a thumbprint or a retinal scan) to verify employees.

How does this effect HR professionals?

The proposed bill would be the first mandatory verification system for all U.S. employers. The potentially superior system will rely on a more accurate and up-to-date database and will be entirely electronic; therefore the susceptibility of fraud and identify theft is eliminated. This also means that there will be stricter penalties on employers that do employ illegal workers. Existing employees will not need to be re-verified using the new system, however all new hires and employees with expiring documentation will need to be verified using the new system.

To learn more about the New Employee Verification Act of 2008, visit some of these websites:
SHRM’s Outlook for New Employment Legislation in 2008
New Employee Verification Act Proposed to Replace E-Verify System
Nation’s Employment Verification System May Incorporate Biometrics
US Government May Begin Verifying Employee Legal Status

Sources: Occupational Health & Safety, SHRM
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