E-Verify: Imperfect But Improving

According to an independent evaluation done in 2008, and reported in the April 2010 issue of HR Magazine, E-Verify, the background checking system of the Department of Homeland Security, “…is much more effective than the Form I-9 verfications process used by employers not using E-Verify.” This is actually good news. First reports of the system reported that it was badly marred.

The research group Westat, Inc. detailed the results of their study in this 338 page report. The study found that 94% of the workers whose employment verifications were run through the system were identified correctly as eligible for employment in the United States. The remaining 6% did not have proper paperwork, however, 3% of them were still given authorization. Much of these errors were due to those workers having fraudulant or stolen identities. The effort in the future will be to cut down on this fraud.

Employers using the E-Verify system do need to realize that there are flaws in the system and need to document their efforts to use and verify a worker’s legal right to work in the US. Have your documentation to prove that you did your best just in case a worker gets busted and fails a closer look.

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