Online Tool Helps Verify Legal Status of Workers

On March 30, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced a new online tool designed to help take some of the headaches out of verifying the legal status of workers. E-Verify Self Check allows workers to verify their own status before seeking employment. While this doesn't remove the onus from employers, the fact that workers can confirm their eligibility before looking for a job will reduce the number of instances where a legal worker is hired, but later turned away due to inaccuracies in his or her records, which often result from something as simple as a typo or failure to report a name change. In other words, employers can feel a bit more confident that they are hiring legal workers when applicants have already ensured that they are eligible to work via the Self Check system. E-Verify Self Check is currently being tested in Washington, D.C., in addition to the states of Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Mississippi and Virginia. It’s expected that Self Check will be available nationwide within the next 12 months. Here are some other things to note about Self Check: Currently 96% accurate, with the majority of errors resulting from employee and/or employer failures to update records Available in both English and Spanish Guards against fraud through safeguards such as a third-party “identify assurance quiz†– once an individual’s public and credit records are verified, a knowledge-based quiz based on those records is administered Once a worker’s eligibility is confirmed, name and date of birth are placed on an I-9 form, which the worker is then required to complete. ~ Gregg Wartgow, editor in chief