Department of Justice Delays Effective Date for E-Verify Requirement

January 9, 2009 ( - The Department of Justice (DoJ) has delayed the effective date for regulations that would require federal contractors and subcontractors to use the U.S. government's electronic employment verification system.

DoJ officials agreed to extend the effective date of the regulations from January 15, 2009, to February 20, 2009, following the filing of a lawsuit by five business groups, including the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), in an attempt to stop the new rules (see Groups Sue over E-Verify Mandate for Federal Contractors ), SHRM said.

According to an SHRM news report, the regulations would amend the government’s acquisition processes by requiring federal contracts to stipulate that businesses must use E-Verify to determine if all new hires and existing employees performing work on federal contracts are authorized to work in the United States. Businesses contracting with the federal government would be required to enroll in E-Verify within 30 days of the contract award date.

The lawsuit seeks a summary judgment to rescind the rule, which enforces an executive order issued by President Bush in June 2008. The business groups say that Congress established the electronic verification system as a voluntary program and claim the Bush administration overstepped its bounds by mandating that federal contractors use the system.

The parties agreed to set February 11, 2009, as the deadline for filing final motions and briefs for the case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.