The government is delaying a requirement that companies that receive new federal contracts check the immigration status of their employees using the Homeland Security Department’s E-verify system.
Facing a lawsuit by five industry associations, the government is delaying implementation of the rule until Feb. 20, said Lawrence Lorber, attorney for the trade groups.
The rule was supposed to take effect Jan. 15, but the industry groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, sued to block it from taking effect.
The rule would require federal contractors and subcontractors that receive new contracts to verify the employment eligibility of all new hires regardless of whether those employees will perform work on a federal contract. Existing employees assigned to government work also must be re-verified using the system.
In the final rule published Nov. 14, the government said it was not violating the statute because accepting a government contract is voluntary. Rather than a mandate for all employers, the rule is instead a condition of doing business with the government, the rule said. Outside of federal contractors, E-Verify is voluntary for the country’s employers.