U.S. Chamber, SHRM File Lawsuit Over E-Verify

From the "please stop giving businesses even more hoops to jump through" file, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the U.S. Chamber are joining forces (along with three other trade groups) in a lawsuit against the U.S. government regarding a recent E-Verify executive order. They charge that requiring federal contractors to use the Dept. of Homeland Security’s E-Verify system to confirm if employees are legally eligible to work in the U.S. is illegal.

"This massive expansion of E-Verify is not only bad policy, it’s unlawful," said Robin Conrad, executive vice president of the National Chamber Litigation Center, the chamber’s public policy law firm. "The administration can’t use an executive order to circumvent federal immigration and procurement laws. Federal law explicitly prohibits the secretary of Homeland Security from making E-Verify mandatory or from using it to reauthorize the existing workforce."

The case, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, is Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, et al. v. Chertoff, et al. It challenges both the reauthorization and the government’s use of an executive order coupled with federal procurement law to make E-Verify mandatory for federal contractors with projects exceeding $100,000 and for subcontractors with projects exceeding $3,000.

"The DHS intends to expand E-Verify on an unprecedented scale in a very short timeframe and to impose liability on government contractors who are unable to comply," said Randy Johnson, vice president of Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits at the chamber. "Given the current economy, now is not the time to add more bureaucracy and billions of dollars in compliance costs to America’s businesses."

Hat tip to Chamber staffer Glenn Harkness for the link.

0 thoughts on “U.S. Chamber, SHRM File Lawsuit Over E-Verify

  1. With regard to E-Verify, here’s the link to a legal opinion paper from an attorney at Michael Best & Friedrich regarding how E-Verify applies for your responsibility regarding independent contractors and sub-contractors.


    Interesting stuff — government contractors who fail to comply with E-Verify may be debarred from doing business with the government, but compliance isn’t exactly simple. If you have misclassified employees as contractors (and therefore not performed E-Verify on them) then you may be out of compliance. But to perform E-Verify on contractors is inappropriate, probably illegal, and can tilt the classification decision (in the event of a misclassification audit) in the direction of making these people look like employees, as you have treated them as employees for purposes of verifying employment eligibility.

    In conclusion, according to the paper (available full text at that link) your E-Verify compliance is ONLY as good as your independent contractor classification compliance.