E-Verify is an online system, operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows employers to electronically verify employment eligibility. Although initially scheduled to take effect on January 15, 2009, the implementation for federal contractors was delayed on numerous occasions and ultimately became effective on September 8, 2009. In order to comply with the new law, certain government contractors must enroll in the E-Verify program and sign the Memorandum of Understanding with DHS, confirming that no employee will be unfairly discriminated against in the use of the E-Verify program. Upon receipt of an employee’s information from the employer, E-Verify requests confirmation of the employee’s eligibility to work through the SSA, United States Citizenship & Immigration Services, and other databases. The penalties for continuing to employ an individual ineligible for employment include civil fines up to $10,000 for each unauthorized worker and additional criminal punishment.

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