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Georgia Governor Nathan Deal recently signed into law Senate Bill 160 (SB 160), a tough expansion of Georgia’s 2011 Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act (HB 87 or the Georgia E-Verify law). The Georgia E-Verify law requires that private employers with 10 or more employees (as of January 1, 2013) start using the federal E-Verify system for new hires on July 1, 2013. Also starting July 1, 2013, SB 160 mandates the use of E-Verify not only for public contractors (including subcontractors and sub subcontractors) providing labor to public projects, but also those providing services of any kind (except for attorneys). This new measure expands the E-Verify requirement to thousands of small businesses that are contracted to perform labor or services in excess of $2,499.99, ranging from public construction to information technology and accounting services. Georgia employers would be well advised to review their employment verification policies/procedures immediately to ensure that their I-9, E-Verify and associated practices are fully compliant. Without compliant practices, an employer undoubtedly will face numerous issues in administering the E-Verify program since it relies on information taken directly from the Form I-9 and input into the online system.

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