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North Carolina to Join Ranks of States Requiring Employers to Enroll in E-Verify

The North Carolina Legislature passed a bill that will gradually require all private employers with more than 25 employees to use the federal online E-Verify program to verify the employment authorization of newly hired employees.  The bill, HB 36, was passed on June 18, 2011, and was signed into law by Governor Beverly Perdue on June 23, 2011 as Session Law 2011-263.  E-Verify is a free internet-based system that allows employers to determine employment authorization by checking an employees’ documentation against Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration databases. Employers can enroll in E-Verify at

This new E-Verify law required North Carolina counties and cities to register and participate in E-Verify by October 1, 2011.  Private sector employers’ participation in E-Verify is phased in more slowly, according to the employer’s size: 

  • Employers with 500 or more employees will be required to participate by October 1, 2012;  
  • Employers with 100 or more employees will be required to participate by January 1, 2013; and 
  • Employers with 25 or more employees will be required to participate by July 1, 2013.

Businesses will not be required to verify the employment eligibility of current employees unless the employer has been awarded a federal contract on or after September 8, 2009 that contains the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause.  Also, industries that hire agricultural workers for 90 days or less in a 12 month period are exempt from using E-Verify.  
Civil penalties for violations of  North Carolina’s E-Verify law are to be assessed by the NC Commissioner of Labor and will range from $1,000 to $10,000.  Employers with more than 25 employees would do well to visit the above E-Verify website to acquaint themselves with E-Verify and attendant enrollment procedures well before enrollment is required.

The federal government has recently added E-Verify Self-Check which permits an employee or prospective employee to check his or her employment eligibility, just like an employer would when it uses E-Verify.  E-Verify Self-Check also provides information to the employee on how to correct any problems.  The E-Verify Self-Check website is  E-Verify Self-Check is being phased in slowly on a national basis and is currently offered to individuals who maintain addresses in 21 states.  North Carolina does not yet have E-Verify Self-Check, although  neighboring Virginia and South Carolina do.

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About this Author

Jennifer G. Parser Immigration Law Attorney Poyner Spruill Law Firm Raleigh, NC
Of Counsel

Jennifer’s practice includes a broad range of immigration and labor and employment matters. She is a multi-lingual attorney able to handle all immigration matters, including H-1B visas, L-1A, L-1B, and H visas, J-1 visas, E-1, E-2, and Australian E-3 visas, F visas and the OPT period option, O visas, TN visas, pre-PERM and PERM labor certifications, permanent resident, investor-, employment-, and family-based visa petitions, deportation and political asylum cases, and naturalization matters.

After completing law school, Jennifer received a number of Immigration Law certificates,...

David L. Woodard, Employment Litigation Attorney, Poyner Spruill, Law firm

David practices in the area of employment litigation.  He regularly advises and defends clients in race, age, disability and sex discrimination and harassment cases; reviews handbooks and termination issues; and provides compliance advice on matters of employment law.

Representative Experience

McNeil v. Scotland County - Obtained summary judgment for employer where plaintiff alleged race discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as well as violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Successfully defended the judgment in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Williams v. City of Fayetteville - Obtained summary judgment on former employee’s claims of retaliation for exercising First Amendment rights, violations of due process, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.