On July 5, 2012, Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Corbett signed into law Act No. 127 (formerly Senate Bill 637), The Public Works Employment Verification Act. The law mandates all public works contractors and subcontractors with the state enroll and use E-Verify, effective January 1, 2013. The state has assigned the Department of General Services to conduct random audits and audits arising out of credible complaints from individuals. Failure to verify employees using the federal E-Verify System would lead to the following penalties: First Offense: warning to violator and posting on Pennsylvania’s website; Second Offense: 30 day debarment from state public works contracts; Third Offense: 180 days or up to one year debarment from state public works contracts; Willful violators (as determined by a court) may be debarred for up to three years. As E-Verify laws continue to evolve, employers should consider partnering with seasoned legal counsel to ensure they properly prepare for the changes ahead.
“There’s more to E-Verify than just enrolling,” explains Attorney Elise Fialkowski. “Employers must not only comply with the state E-Verify laws but also with federal E-Verify and I-9 requirements.”