Saturday, January 03, 2009

Business organizations sue Homeland Security to abolish E-Verify requirement

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Associated Builders and Contractors, the Society for Human Resource Management, the American Council on International Personnel and the HR Policy Association have sued the Department of Homeland Security to block a new E-Verify requirement.

Beginning January 15, federal contractors will be required to check the immigration status of their employees using the department’s E-Verify system. On December 23, the group filed suit in the U.S. District Court for Maryland, asking the court to halt the implementation of the rule and to declare the rule invalid.

They claim the requirement is contrary to the statute authorizing E-Verify and that the law states that Homeland Security “may not require any person or other entity to participate” in the program, according to court documents.

They claim the rule is vague and will force companies to verify all employees on E-Verify to avoid potential suspension and debarment. In addition to facing financial and time burdens, companies could be vulnerable to lawsuits by employees who feel they’ve been discriminated against, the plaintiffs say.

The department has 60 days to respond to the suit’s arguments.

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