Last week, the federal Department of Justice announced a short delay in the effective date of new regulations that require all federal contractors to begin use of the E-Verify system to confirm current employees’ and applicants’ legal ability to work in the U.S. The new rules are part of the federal government’s efforts to crack down on illegal immigration. Supposedly, the E-Verify system will help avoid situations where employers hire illegal workers through use of false or stolen identification documentation.
The new rules were intended to go into effect on January 15. A number of business trade groups sued the government, claiming that E-Verify is unreliable, and could expose employers to legal risks due to employees and applicants wrongfully excluded from work. Based on the lawsuit, DOJ has agreed to postpone the effective date of the new rules to February 20.
Of course, if the court hearing the suit agrees with the plaintiffs, it could issue an injunction further delaying the rules’ implementation.