Employee Verification Legislation Introduced in the House

February 28, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - U.S. Representative Sam Johnson (R -Texas), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Social Security, Committee on Ways and Means, last week introduced the New Employee Verification Act (NEVA).

According to a Johnson press release, under the new legislation the current paper-based I-9 screening process would be replaced with an Electronic Employee Verification System (EEVS) that would rely on the use of fewer, more secure identity documents and would be built upon the new hire reporting process in each state. This program is already used by 90% of employers and was put in place a dozen years ago to track down parents in violation of child support orders.  

For American citizens, work authorization would be confirmed only through the Social Security Administration. For non-citizens, work authorization would be confirmed through the Department of Homeland Security that has the databases on visa and immigration status, the release said.

The legislation would also help safeguard workers’ identities. A voluntary system – the Secure Electronic Employee Verification System (SEEVS) – would be created using the latest technology to authenticate and protect a worker’s identity by utilizing existing background check and document screening tools. After verifying work authorization in EEVS, private sector companies, certified by the federal government, would authenticate the identity of an employees which would be secured through a biometric identifier such as a finger print or eye scan.

The Human Resource Initiative for a Legal Workforce, representing thousands of U.S. employers, has expressed its support of the bill, and text of the legislation can be found on its Web site,  www.legal-workforce.org .