Employers that met the definition of “employer” set forth in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 64-25(4), were required to comply with North Carolina’s E-Verify law as of the appropriate effective dates below. Employer is defined as “Any person, business entity, or other organization that transacts business in this State and employs 25 or more employees in this State.” Employee is defined as “Any individual who provides services or labor for an employer in this State for wages or other remuneration. The term does not include an individual whose term of employment is less than nine months in a calendar year.”
- Effective Oct. 1, 2012—employers with 500 or more employees were required to use E-Verify to check work authorization for all new hires.
- Effective Jan. 1, 2013—employers with 100 or more employees were required to use E-Verify to check work authorization for all new hires.
- Effective July 1, 2013—employers with 25 or more employees were required to use E-Verify to check work authorization for all new hires.
The definition excludes state agencies, counties, municipalities and other governmental bodies. Note that state agencies, counties and municipalities have separate E-Verify requirements, but the N.C. Department of Labor does not have jurisdiction to investigate complaints with respect to employees of these public entities. The N.C. Department of Labor will investigate the requirement for cities, counties and other political subdivisions of the state to ensure that contractors and subcontractors comply with the requirements of E-Verify pursuant to G.S. 143-133.3
Enrollment in E-Verify is not handled by the N.C. Department of Labor. Rather, the E-Verify system is operated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security). You may begin the E-Verify enrollment process at the U.S. CIS’s website. Questions about enrollment should be directed to the E-Verify employer hotline at 1-888-464-4218.
North Carolina’s E-Verify law requires that any employer that employs 25 or more employees in North Carolina (regardless the location of the employer’s headquarters) use the E-Verify system to verify the work authorization of newly hired North Carolina employees in accordance with the appropriate effective date. The effective dates are set out in Question 1, above.
No. The definition of employee set forth in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 64-25(3) does not include any individuals whose term of employment is less than nine months in a calendar year. These employees are not counted toward the 25-employee threshold that triggers mandatory compliance with the law.
If your company eventually employs 25 or more permanent employees, you must begin complying with North Carolina’s law with respect to the permanent employees only. North Carolina E-verify law does not require individuals who do not meet the definition of employee in the act be verified through the E-verify system. However, North Carolina law does not exempt an employer from federal law or the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security when an employer signs up to use the federal E-Verify system.
North Carolina’s E-Verify law does not make a distinction between a new hire and a rehire. However, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (which runs the E-Verify system) website maintains a question and answer page that addresses this and other topics.
The E-Verify Memorandum of Understanding prohibits the use of E-Verify before an applicant has been hired and before the Form I-9 has been completed. For further information related to use of the E-Verify system, please contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, Department of Homeland Security.
North Carolina’s E-Verify law does not authorize or require the N.C. Department of Labor to conduct employer audits or to initiate an investigation against an employer if there has not been a complaint filed that sets forth the complainant’s basis for believing the employer is or has violated N.C. Gen. Stat. § 64-26 or G.S. 143-133.3. The NCDOL is only authorized and required to investigate valid complaints that specifically allege an employer has violated 64-26 or 143-133.3.
When entering into the E-Verify Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Homeland Security, the employer will be able to print a confirmation or tentative non-confirmation screen containing the E-Verify case verification number for attachment to the employee’s Form I-9. This document is sufficient to show NCDOL that the employer has verified the work authorization of the employee in question in accordance with the E-Verify law.
The employer will need to have documentation of the specific dates on which the individual performed work for the employer that shows that the individual is not an employee under the definition set forth in the law (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 64-25(3)).
The N.C. Department of Labor does not have jurisdiction to investigate complaints about state and local government agencies not complying with the requirements of E-Verify except with regards to the requirement that they must ensure that contractors and subcontractors comply with the law pursuant to G.S. 143-133.3.
The Department Homeland Security also has a list of frequently asked questions.