What is E-Verify?

E-Verify is an Internet-based system operated jointly by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows employers to electronically verify an employee's eligibility to work in the United States. The E-Verify system compares information from an employee's Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 (I-9 Form) to information contained in DHS and SSA databases.

The Law

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) mandates that U.S. employers verify the employment eligibility status of newly-hired employees. IRCA made it unlawful for employers to knowingly hire or continue to employ unauthorized workers. The law requires new employees to establish their work authorization by completing the I-9 Form.

On June 6, 2008, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13465 requiring certain federal contractors to use E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of employees assigned to work on federal contracts. Federal regulations implementing this executive order took effect in September 2009. The regulations apply to federal contracts in excess of $100,000 and federal subcontracts in excess of $3,000 which contain the Federal Acquisitions Regulations (FAR) E-Verify clause (see FAR § 52.222–54).

As a federal contractor, the university is required to use E-Verify to verify the employment eligibility of all employees assigned to work on federal contracts containing the FAR E-Verify clause. Compliance with E-Verify requires the cooperation of all departments receiving federal contracts and all faculty and staff assigned to work on federal contracts. Failure to comply with E-Verify regulations may jeopardize the university's ability to receive federal contract funds in the future.

How E-Verify Works at UMass

  • The Office of Post-Award Management (OPAM) reviews all contracts that the university receives to check for the FAR E-Verify clause. When an E-Verify contract is received, OPAM will contact the principal investigator and the applicable department business manager to explain that the E-Verify clause is applicable to the award and instruct the PI and business manager to contact Human Resources for further assistance with the process. The PI and the employees will work directly with Human Resources. Ted Los tjlos@admin.umass.edu should be contacted to set up an appointment for the process.
    • Existing employees assigned to work on an E-Verify contract must complete a new I-9 Form and initiate E-Verify within the later of:
      • 90 days of the date of the contract award (i.e. the start date of the contract); or
      • 30 days of being assigned work on the contract.
    • Newly-hired employees assigned to work on an E-Verify contract must complete an I-9 Form and initiate E-Verify within three days of being hired.

Department business managers must work with the principal investigator to identify all employees assigned to work on the contract. Throughout the period of performance on the contract, as additional employees are assigned to work on the contract, each employee must complete E-Verify.