On March 21, 2011, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the launch of E-Verify Self Check, a direct extension of the E-Verify service which will allow individuals seeking employment access to their employment eligibility status. The service will include detailed instructions in both Spanish and English for those individuals needing to correct their records. Currently, the online program is being tested in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
The service will allow prospective employees to ensure their work eligibility information is correct and they will no longer have to wait for employers to show them where the red flags are within this information. This seems to be a step in the right direction for employment verification. Though it does conjure up the issue that if put in the hands of employers who do not follow the letter of the law, this system backfires. It has been brought up that some employers may require this E-Verify Self Check from candidates before submitting their job application, thus, swinging the duty of establishing eligibility to the candidate. This is illegal and viewed as pre-screening.
As an employer, you may consider bringing in outside consulting to develop your best practices for dealing with E-Verify. Also, in developing an outline for these practices, it will help define proper use of the E-Verify system and any oversight that you deem necessary. According to the DHS, they expect the service to generate up to 1 million queries this year and over 8 million per year when the service is expanded to every state.