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Employment-verification bill introduced into Congress

A bill that would simplify the employment-verification process and help prevent unauthorized employment has been American Visa (XL)introduced into Congress. H.R. 2028, also known as the New Employee Verification Act (NEVA) would replace the growing patchwork of conflicting state and city laws with a user-friendly electronic employment verification system all employers would be required to use.

NEVA would introduce a paperless Electronic Employment Verification System (EEVS), requiring employers to confirm eligibility by entering employee identification data through their state’s “new hire” reporting program — an electronic portal already used to enhance child support enforcement.  The new program would be entirely electronic, eliminating paperwork and streamlining verification processes.  Work authorization for citizens would be conducted through the Social Security Administration (SSA) and for non-citizens through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The bill also bolsters enforcement through enhanced employer penalties and by sharing with DHS information on employers with significant employee name/Social Security number mismatches.

As an added level of security, the legislation would also create a voluntary Secure Electronic Employment Verification System (SEEVS) that employers may choose to use in the verification process.  This system would include a standard background check and the collection of a “biometric” characteristic — such as a thumbprint— to secure an employee’s identity and prevent future fraudulent use of a Social Security number for the purposes of illegal employment.

To ensure privacy and system accuracy, the legislation requires direct consultation with a panel of public/private sector experts in designing the system, and also by requiring annual reporting on system performance by participating federal agencies and the Government Accountability Office.  

The bill is supported by a coalition of human-resources organizations called the HR Initiative for a Legal Workforce, which includes the American Council on International Personnel, Food Marketing Institute, HR Policy Association, National Association of Manufacturers, National Franchisee Association, and Society for Human Resource Management.

The bill was introduced April 22 by Rep. Sam Johnson (Texas) and has five Republican co-sponsors. It has been sent to committee for consideration.

To read the bill, visit http://tiny.cc/NEVA483.

Source: Society for Human Resource Development


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