NY County Proposes Employers Prove Worker Status

February 1, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A Suffolk County, New York, legislator proposed on Thursday that construction companies prove their employees are legally eligible to work in the United States.

According to Newsday, first-term legislator Brian Beedenbender, is proposing a measure that would require the county’s 15,000 licensed contractors – home builders, electricians, plumbers, and others – to document their workers’ legal status. Violators of the mandate would lose their licenses.

The proposal is subject to a series of public hearings before the Legislature votes, Newsday said. According to Stephen Acquario, executive director of the New York State Association of Counties, Suffolk is the first county in the state to consider such a proposal.

Luis Valenzuela, executive director of the Long Island Immigrant Alliance, called the proposal a “step in the wrong direction” that would harm small business owners in the county, according to the news report.

In Arizona, some businesses and Hispanic civil rights groups have filed a lawsuit to temporarily block a new state law imposing sanctions against employers that hire undocumented workers (See Businesses Request Delay of AZ Illegal Worker Law).