As predicted in my May 2011 blog on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding Arizona’s E-Verify mandate, several states have followed suit and mandated E-Verify participation.  At the start of this year, E-Verify requirements became effective in Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee, and all employers in Alabama must implement E-Verify by April 1, 2012.

The number of immigration-related bills introduced across the country in 2011 is astounding.  In 2011 alone, state lawmakers in all fifty states and Puerto Rico introduced over 1,600 immigration-related bills.  Of those bills, as of December 7, 2011, 42 states and Puerto Rico had enacted over 300 new immigration-related laws or resolutions.   

Of most importance to employers and businesses are the states that enacted laws in 2011 regarding E-Verify participation.  According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 17 states now require E-Verify for public or private employers.   

While this list will not remain current for long, employers operating in at least the following states should pay attention to state E-Verify requirements:

  • Alabama (passed in 2011) (effective April 2012)
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Florida (2011)
  • Georgia (2011)
  • Idaho
  • Indiana (2011)
  • Louisiana (2011)
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina (2011)
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina (2011)
  • Tennessee (2011)
  • Utah (2011)
  • Virginia (2011)

While many states this year enacted laws requiring E-Verify use, a few states moved in the opposite direction.  In January 2011, Rhode Island repealed a 2008 executive order requiring use of E-Verify.  And, Minnesota’s 2008 executive order requiring some state agencies and contractors to use E-Verify expired in April 2011. 

E-Verify: Georgia

This blog is the first in a series to focus on individual states’ E-Verify requirements.  First up – Georgia. 

Effective January 1, 2012, E-Verify is mandatory for all employers with 500 or more employees in Georgia. (Georgia H.B. 87).  The Georgia law will eventually require all employers with more than 10 employees to use E-Verify.  The law kicks in for employers with 100-499 employees on July 1, 2012, and for those with 11-99 employees on July 1, 2013. 

Similar to those in the Arizona law (Arizona S.B. 1070), the penalties in Georgia include restrictions on the ability to get new or renew business licenses or other required business documents.