In 2008, Arizona was the first state to go beyond existing Federal laws and impose additional hiring responsibilities and penalties on employers. Some states have since followed, resulting in a state-by-state patchwork of varied enforcement and hiring mechanisms, making the process increasingly difficult, burdensome and costly for employers doing business in multiple states.
Today, the Supreme Court found that the Arizona law falls within the authority Congress has given the states and they have the right to mandate that employers use E-Verify, the Federal verification program and impose certain penalties.
Employers need a reliable, accurate and efficient employment eligibility verification system that also provides fair enforcement of the laws. This includes a consistent system that provides a coherent hiring process across all states. Manufacturers are concerned that this ruling opens the door to additional state action that will make the hiring process more confusing.
Federal preemption of state laws and a safe harbor for employers is necessary to ease the regulatory burden that will continue to be imposed one state at a time.
Joe Trauger is vice president for human resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.
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