Alabama and Tennessee introduce new employment legislation

The Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizens Protection Act Alabama’s new immigration law, Act No. 2011-535, is widely considered to be the toughest immigration law in the nation. While some parts of the law have drawn legal challenges, most of the provisions relating directly to employers have survived. Effective January 1, 2012, as a condition for the award of any state contract, every contractor or subcontractor shall enroll in E-Verify and verify the employment eligibility of its new hires using E-Verify.  A first offense of the Act can lead to debarment from state contracts, cancellation of state government grants or incentives and suspension or revocation of business license for up to 60 days. A second offense may lead to permanent revocation of the employer’s business license. Effective April 1, 2012, every business entity or employer in the state is required to enroll in E-Verify and verify the work eligibility of all new hires using E-Verify. A business entity or employer that uses E-Verify to verify the work authorization of an employee shall not be deemed to have violated this section with respect to the employment of that employee.   The Tennessee Lawful Employment Act (H.B. 1378) The Tennessee Lawful Employment Act requires all employers in Tennessee to demonstrate that they are hiring and maintaining a legal workforce either by verifying the employment eligibility of newly hired employees through E-Verify or by requesting (and maintaining a copy of) an identity/employment authorization document from all newly hired employees. Effective January 1, 2012, all state and local government agencies must enroll and participate in E-Verify or request and maintain an identity/employment authorization document from a newly hired employee. Effective January 1, 2012, all private employers with 500 or more employees must enroll and participate in E-Verify or request and maintain an identity / employment authorization document from a newly hired employee. Effective July 1, 2012, all private employers with 200 to 499 employees must enroll and participate in E-Verify or request and maintain an identity / employment authorization document from a newly hired employee. Effective July 1, 2013, all private employers with 6 to 199 employees must register and utilize E-Verify or request and maintain an identity / employment authorization document from a newly hired employee. An employer who has been found to have violated the employment verification provisions of the Act will be assessed $500 for the first violation, $1,000 for a second violation and $2,500 for a third or subsequent violation. In addition to these civil penalties, first-time offenders will also be assessed an additional $500 for each employee or non-employee who was not verified through the E-Verify program or for whom an identity / employment authorization document was not requested. For second and third violations, employers will be fined an additional $1,000 or $2,500, respectively, for each employee or non-employee   ]]>

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