The Missouri E-Verify law (H.R. 1549) became effective in January 2009. All public employers (government agencies) are required to participate in E-Verify, as are most public contractors.
Missouri E-Verify for Public Contracts and Benefits
To receive a state or political subdivision contract or grant in excess of $5,000, or for any state-administered or subsidized tax credit, tax abatement, or loan from the state, a business must enroll in E-Verify. The business must also affirm via an affidavit that it does not knowingly employ any person who is an illegal alien to work on the contract.
Public contractors are required to file an affidavit annually affirming their continued participation in E-Verify.
Penalties for Failure to Enroll
If a court, as the result of a complaint, finds that an employer knowingly violate the Missouri E-Verify law, the court must direct that the employer’s business license or other public benefits be suspended for 14 days. The suspension ends at the end of 14 days if the employer terminates the illegal worker(s); submits a sworn affidavit stating that the violation has ended; and (3) submits proof of participation in E-Verify.
A second violation results in any applicable business license, permit, or exemption being suspended for one year. A subsequent violation results in a permanent suspension. A public contractor who is found in violation is considered to be in breach of contract, meaning the state may terminate the contract and suspend or debar the business from doing business with the state for a period of three years. The state may withhold up to 25 percent of the total amount due to the business. Upon a second or subsequent violation, the state may terminate the contract and permanently suspend or debar the business from doing business with the state; the state may again withhold up to 25 percent of the total amount due to the business.
Enrollment Provides Affirmative Defense
In the event of a complaint, participation in E-Verify provides the employer with an affirmative defense that it did not violate state law.