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E-Verify is an Internet-based system that checks employee information provided by employees on Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) against information from the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration to ensure employees are authorized to work in the United States. It was initially voluntary for employers to participate, but the passage of Federal, state, and local laws is making it mandatory for more and more employers. Plus, after September 8, 2009, Federal contractors and sub-contractors entering in new contracts that paid over $3,000 were required to use E-Verify.

As E-Verify becomes required of more employers, client companies are starting to ask some of the recruiters we work with if they provide contractor E-Verify services. We are also starting to see it as a requirement in a lot of the contracts we are signing with client companies. And if you are hoping to secure a government contract, you will most certainly be expected to be E-Verify compliant.

To use E-Verify, you have to be trained and certified, and you have to go through a re-certification process anytime the system or the regulations surrounding it change. Many of your competitors are NOT going to go through this process. So if you can be E-Verify compliant, it could help you become the recruiter of choice for companies looking for contractors.

If you use a back-office service provider, make sure they are E-Verify compliant. If you have a back-office that is compliant, you don’t have to be trained and certified, and they should also be the ones to track down employee’s I-9s. Having a verified I-9 for each employee within three business days of their start date is required by law, and it it is even more vital when using E-Verify.

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