United States: Do You Have An Employee Working In Georgia? If So, New E-Verify Requirements Should Be On Your Mind

Last Updated: February 20 2012
Article by Katie Nokes Minervino

Georgia's comprehensive immigration law requires that private employers enroll in E-Verify as a condition to obtaining or renewing a broad range of business licenses and other documentation required to operate a business or engage in a professional service.

While some provisions of the Georgia law took effect on July 1st, the E-Verify requirements are being phased in, with staggered E-Verify compliance dates based on the size of an employer. The initial phase-in for private employers started in the new year, with businesses employing more than 500 employees required to use E-Verify for new hires as of January 1, 2012. Businesses with less than 500 but more than 100 employees must start using E-Verify by July 1, 2012, and businesses with less than 99 but more than 11 workers must use the program by July 1, 2013. Businesses with 10 or less employees are exempt.

All employers must look closely at whether they have any employees performing services in Georgia that trigger a license requirement because if so, they may be caught in the cross-hairs of Georgia's immigration enforcement efforts.

Counting your employees for purposes of compliance deadlines

To determine the number of its employees for E-Verify purposes under this law, a business must count its total number of employees working at least 35 hours a week as of January 1st of the year the E-Verify mandates for that employer kick in. The definition of "employee" in the Georgia law cross-references the Georgia tax code, and as it is currently written, does not specify that an employer need only count employees on a Georgia payroll. The law further contains no language limiting the employer's required use of E-Verify to new hires within the state of Georgia, leaving the door open for an interpretation of the law with a far-reaching scope outside of the boundaries of Georgia for multi-state employers.

If an employer exclusively employs workers on a Georgia payroll, the analysis is simple and the employer should look to its number of full-time employees paid under its federal employer identification number to determine when the E-Verify requirement applies.

But my employee only works in Georgia - I'm not a Georgia-based business

If an employer has payroll employees in multiple states, including Georgia, the situation is a bit stickier. Such employers should determine, first, whether all these employers are connected to the same federal employer identification number (FEIN). If the employees are distributed among multiple FEINs (for example, in the case of a parent and subsidiary) and the total number on each FEIN is less than 500, the employer's E-Verify requirements will be deferred in Georgia until at least July 2012.

If the employees are all paid under the same FEIN and number 500 or more, the recommended approach is for an employer to enroll in E-Verify for its Georgia hiring sites on or as soon after January 1st as possible, thus placing the employer in the strongest position to obtain the wide range of business and professional licensure in Georgia for which proof of E-Verify is required.

I'm not prepared to potentially "jump the gun" on an otherwise voluntary program.

A company applying to obtain or renew its Georgia business license or an employee obtaining a professional license in Georgia must present an affidavit attesting employer compliance with the E-Verify requirements of the Georgia immigration law. While Georgia has yet to release rules or provide any clarification on how employees should be counted under this law, the Georgia Department of Law released affidavits for employers to present when applying for licensure: one for claiming less than 11 employees, and thus exemption from the E-Verify requirements, and another for employers with 500 or more employees. The affidavit for employers with more than 500 employers (valid from January 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012), like the immigration law itself, does not specify that the total number of employees is restricted to Georgia. The affidavit also asks for an employer's E-Verify identification number and the date that number was issued.

Employers not already in E-Verify with 500+ employees and a limited Georgia presence may be justifiably on the fence about whether they want to enroll in E-Verify under the earliest possible deadline. These employers should consider the cost to working out the wrinkles in a license renewal process for a professional who needs a Georgia license and is unable to provide the required compliance affidavit.

For private employers without federal contracts, E-Verify use is limited to new hires. If an employer hires no (or a minimal number of) employees in Georgia in 2012, actual use of the program will be minimal and the burden relatively low compared to the cost if Georgia takes a hard line issuing licenses and later releases rules specifying that employers must consider all US employees for E-Verify compliance and deadlines.

Further, employers have a range of options in using and administering E-Verify within their company and can obtain the E-Verify Identification Number required as a condition to obtaining licensure without triggering E-Verify obligations for any hiring sites outside of Georgia.

Employers can also choose to administer E-Verify use for Georgia hires at a location outside of Georgia, for example, an out-of-state corporate headquarters.

The Georgia E-Verify law exemplifies the challenges that state-specific E-Verify requirements impose on employers, requiring additional compliance obligations for private employers while lacking clarity on practical aspects of the law.

This alert was also published as a guest blog post on the E-Verify & I-9 News blog.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Katie Nokes Minervino
 
In association with
Related Video
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
Accounting and Audit
Anti-trust/Competition Law
Consumer Protection
Corporate/Commercial Law
Criminal Law
Employment and HR
Energy and Natural Resources
Environment
Family and Matrimonial
Finance and Banking
Food, Drugs, Healthcare, Life Sciences
Government, Public Sector
Immigration
Insolvency/Bankruptcy, Re-structuring
Insurance
Intellectual Property
International Law
Law Practice Management
Litigation, Mediation & Arbitration
Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment
Privacy
Real Estate and Construction
Strategy
Tax
Transport
Wealth Management
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.