Tennessee Employers Will Soon Be Required to Use E-Verify

Starting January 1, 2017, Tennessee employers with 50 or more employees will be required to register and utilize E-Verify. E-verify is an Internet based system that confirms employment eligibility by comparing information from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records. This new requirement is the result of a new bill (S 1965) signed by Governor Bill Haslam on April 21, 2016.

In addition to requiring employers to use the E-Verify system, the enacted bill will also shorten the time employers will have to remedy the non-compliance violation. In the current Tennessee Lawful Employment Act, employers are given 60 days to fix their non-compliance finding, but starting January 1st, employers will only have 45 days to remedy the violation. Penalties for violations include the following:

  • 1st violation: civil penalty of $1,000 and an order to all applicable governmental entities that all licenses held by the employer would be suspended for 30 days from the date of the final order;
  • 2nd violation: civil penalty of $1,000 and an order to all applicable governmental entities that all licenses held by the private employer would be suspended for one year from the date of the final order;
  • 3rd violation: civil penalty of $1,000 and an order to all applicable governmental entities that all licenses held by the private employer would be permanently revoked as of the date of the final order.

To avoid fines and suspension of business licenses, employers are advised to review records to ensure compliance.

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