Louisiana E-Verify

Effective January 1, 2012, Louisiana employers are required to enroll in E-Verify under certain circumstances.

Private Louisiana Employers

HB-646 (2011) prohibits the employment of any person not eligible to work in the U.S.  Employers can comply with the law by 1) enrolling in and verifying all new hires through E-Verify; or 2) requiring new hires to present (and the employer copy and maintain) one identification document that includes a photo and a US birth certificate, naturalization certificate, certificate of citizenship, alien registration receipt card or US immigration form I-94.

The penalty for failure to comply with the law can be the suspension of a business or professional license and, for a first offense, not more than $500 per unauthorized worker employed; and, for a second offense, not more than $1,000 per unauthorized worker. A third or subsequent violation can result in the suspension of a business license for not less than 30 days nor more than six months, and a fine of $2,500 per unauthorized worker.

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Public Contracts

HB-342, the 2011 Louisiana EVerify law, prohibits private employers from bidding on or being awarded a contract for the performance of services by a government entity unless the employer submits a sworn affidavit certifying that the employer is enrolled in and verifying new hires through EVerify. The affidavit must also certify that the employer will remain enrolled in E-Verify during the term of the contract.

HB-996 (2012) clarified the law regarding the type of public contracts to which it applies. Qualifying contracts are “contracts for public works…. [meaning] the erection, construction, alteration, improvement, or repair of any public facility or immovable property owned, used, or leased by a public entity.”

The law requires contractors to ensure that their sub-contractors also enroll in E-Verify, and swear to their enrollment by affidavit to be retained by the contractor.

Failure to enroll in and remain enrolled in E-Verify can result in the loss of eligibility to receive public contracts for up to three years from the date that the violation is discovered.

The law also protects any contractor or employer from being civilly or criminally liable for hiring or retaining an individual who had been reported by the E-Verify program to be eligible to work in the U.S., but was not. The employer is also protected when a new hire is terminated for receiving a Final Non-Confirmation from E-Verify.