Pennsylvania has enacted the Construction Industry Employee Verification Act (House Bill 1170), which requires construction industry employers to use E-Verify to confirm that new hires are authorized to work in the United States. House Bill 1170 takes effect on October 7, 2020.
Under federal law, employers are required to verify that each new hire is authorized to work in the United States by completing a Form I-9. Employers are prohibited from knowingly hiring or continuing to employ individuals who are not authorized to work.
The federal government developed an online electronic verification system known as "E-Verify." E-Verify is a free Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration. It allows employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees by comparing the information provided on the employee's I-9 Form to DHS databases. Currently, there is no federal requirement for private employers to use E-Verify. However, some states impose E-Verify mandates and certain federal contractors are required to use it.
House Bill 1170:
The Construction Industry Employee Verification Act applies to Pennsylvania employers in the construction industry that employ at least one employee. The law reinforces that employers are prohibited from knowingly employing an unauthorized worker. Additionally, beginning October 7, 2020, these employers must:
- Verify a new hire's eligibility for employment through the federal government's E-Verify program ( Note: E-Verify may only be used after an employee has accepted employment and has completed the I-9 Form. You may not use E-Verify on current employees unless you are a government contractor required to do so as part of the contract); and
- Keep verification records for the duration of the employee's employment, or three years, whichever is longer.
The law also includes rules and procedures concerning complaints, investigations, and penalties for violation.
Pennsylvania employers in the construction industry should review their hiring procedures and verify new hires through the E-Verify program. Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.