Despite protests from various quarters E-Verify is fast gaining acceptance across the country and the coming year will see many states implementing the program.  E -Verify, an Internet-based system operated by DHS in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA), allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees.   More than 168,000 participating employers at nearly 640,000 worksites nationwide currently use the program.  Since Oct. 1, 2009, more than 1.3 million employment verification queries have been run through the system and approximately 96.9 percent of all queries are now automatically confirmed without any need for employee action. Certain employers in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee will be required to use E-Verify to check the employment eligibility of new hires as of January 1, 2012. On January 1, 2012, five states will require certain employers to use the federal E-Verify system to check the employment eligibility of new hires.

Alabama: State contractors will be required to use E-Verify as of January 1, 2012. Beginning April 1, 2012, all employers in the state will be required to use E-Verify.

Georgia: As of January 1, 2012, private employers with 500 or more employees must use E-Verify to check the work eligibility of all new hires. The E-Verify requirement will expand to smaller employers later this year — July 1, 2012 for employers with 100 to 499 employees, and July 1, 2013 for employers with 11 to 99 employees.

Louisiana: Effective January 1, 2012, all private employers seeking a public contract to provide services to a state or local public entity will be required to attest that they will use E-Verify to check the work eligibility of all new hires in the state during the term of the contract. They must also require their subcontractors to use E-Verify for all new hires within the state during the contract term.

South Carolina: All employers in South Carolina will need to participate in E-Verify as of January 1, 2012. Currently, employers have the option to hire only employees that possess or qualify for a South Carolina driver’s license (or other state license with similarly strict requirements) instead of using E-Verify, but that option will expire on January 1, 2012.

Tennessee: All private employers with 500 or more employees must either use E-Verify or obtain and copy specified documentation of lawful status for all new hires as of January 1, 2012.