The E-Verify Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) have been revised. The E-Verify MOU is the agreement between the employer and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which sets the terms and conditions of the employer’s participation in E-Verify. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released revised versions of the MOUs on December 8, 2013. They are immediately effective for new users enrolling in E-Verify now, and become effective for existing users on January 8, 2014.
Existing E-Verify users do not need to take any action, but should know that DHS will hold them accountable to the terms of the revised MOU from January 8, 2014, forward. Most likely, they will want to review the revised MOU before then. Confusingly enough, all the revised MOUs are dated June 2013.
Access the revised MOUs at the Memorandums section of the Publications page by clicking here or log in to E-Verify and choose “View Essential Resources.” Should you care to make comparisons, the archived versions of the MOUs from September 2009 are also available.
A major change is that there are now two sets of MOUs. Users accessing E-Verify directly by web browser will use the revised MOUs, and users who have customized software allowing them an interface with the E-Verify database will use the new Web Services set of MOUs. There are three versions of each set, one for employers who manage their own E-Verify accounts, one for employer agents who manage E-Verify accounts for customers, and one for employers who use employer agents to manage E-Verify for them.
Employers need to select the correct version of the MOU based on their method of access and form of usage, although in each instance, DHS emphasizes that the employer remains fully responsible for compliance with the MOU. Users of Federal Contractor E-Verify will select the applicable MOU based on their method of access, and will be bound by the terms of the MOU which includes an article containing special provisions for federal contractors.
The revised MOUs bring the employer’s obligations to the front and were rewritten in plain language. These changes are intended to make them easier to read and understand. While the revised MOUs look different, the essential obligations of employers remain the same.
Specific employer responsibilities that are emphasized by the revisions include:
- To maintain confidentiality of employee information and duty to report breaches of confidentiality,
- to post notice of its E-Verify participation and means of doing so,
- to prepare and maintain I-9 Forms for each employee in addition to E-Verify,
- not to create E-Verify cases before hire (meaning a firm offer of employment is extended and accepted and I-9 Form is completed) or use E-Verify for pre-employment screening,
- to use E-Verify for all new employees,
- how to handle Tentative Non-Confirmations, including not to take adverse action until the entire process is completed and DHS has issued a Final Non-Confirmation,
- to comply with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 274B of the Immigration & Nationality Act, both of which prohibit discriminating unlawfully against any individual in hiring, firing, employment eligibility verification, or recruitment or referral practices because of national origin or citizenship status,
- to cooperate with DHS and the Social Security Administration compliance monitoring and evaluation of E-Verify, including permitting these agencies to review I-9 Forms and other employment records and to submit to interviews of management and their employees about their use of E-Verify, and
- to respond promptly and accurately to DHS requests for information on participation in E-Verify.