The federal government is expected to publish a notice in the Federal Register early next week that will further delay implementation of the E-Verify requirements affecting federal contractors. The final rule will require certain federal contractors and their subcontractors to begin using the E-Verify program to electronically verify the work eligibility of their newly hired employees and existing employees assigned to work on government contracts. The rule, set to go into effect on  June 30, 2009, will be further suspended until September 8, 2009. This is the fourth time the rule has been delayed from its original January 15, 2009, effective date.

Under the agreement, any federal contracts awarded or solicitations issued prior to September 8, 2009, will not contain the E-Verify clause imposed by the rule. On January 20, 2009, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel issued a memorandum to the heads of executive departments requesting that they extend for 60 days the effective date of the regulations that had been published in the Federal Register but not yet taken effect, so that President Obama and his staff could have the opportunity to review these regulations. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, further suspension of the E-Verify rule is required so that the Obama administration has an adequate opportunity to review the entire rule.

We will continue to provide you with the latest news as it relates to the final rule. In the meantime, it is important to remember that E-Verify participation by federal contractors will not be implemented until September 8, 2009. We encourage all of our clients to take the steps necessary to be in full compliance. Our immigration attorneys are available to explain the final rule and the E-Verify program in more detail, including how these changes may affect your business.