E-Verify is an Internet-based system that allows an employer, using information reported on an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to determine that employee's eligibility to work in the United States.
On June 8, 2008, Executive Order 12989 was amended to require all federal contractors, including colleges and universities, begin using an electronic verification system designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to verify the employment eligibility. On June 13, 2008, the secretary of DHS designated E-Verify to be this system and to be used immediately. The Executive Order was followed by a proposed rule which required public comments to be submitted by Aug. 11, 2008.
In June 2009, the University began using the E-Verify process for employees that were paid from a grant or contract with a Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) clause. In the 2011 legislative session, several legislative bills were introduced to address illegal immigration in Tennessee. The final law that was passed requires that employers with six or more employees E-verify all new employees beginning Jan. 1, 2012.
The FAR is the primary regulation for use by all Federal Executive agencies in their acquisition of supplies and services with appropriated funds. It became effective on April 1, 1984, and is issued within applicable laws under the joint authorities of the Administrator of General Services, the Secretary of Defense, and the Administrator for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, under the broad policy guidelines of the Administrator, Office of Federal Procurement Policy, Office of Management and Budget.
Entry into the E-Verify system will be handled centrally in Human Resources, but departments will still have responsibility to submit I-9 paperwork to HR within three days of a hire. Also, departments that have a FAR clause grant are required to submit E-Verify paperwork on all employees paid from this grant. The grant cost center also should be entered into the IRIS computer system. Documentation can be found by visiting https://irishelp.tennessee.edu/gm/workplace then Reporting, HR and E-Verify.
Penalties can range from daily fines (between $500 and $1,500 per incident) up to and including debarment from federal research.