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eLABORate: Gov. Robert Bentley Changes the Landscape of Alabama Employment Law

June 09, 2011

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act this morning.  The Beason-Hammon Act will eventually require all Alabama employers to use E-Verify to determine an employee’s immigration status.

E-Verify is a federally provided internet-based system that allows an employer to verify an employee’s work authorization status.  Governor Bentley’s decision to enact the Beason-Hammon Act follows the long-awaited United States Supreme Court decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, which authorizes states to mandate that employers use E-Verify under certain circumstances.

Among numerous other requirements, the Beason-Hammon Act requires Alabama employers who contract with the State of Alabama to use E-Verify to verify the lawful employment authorization for their employees, or risk losing their right to do business with Alabama state agencies.  This provision will become effective January 1, 2012.  Additionally, effective April 1, 2012, every Alabama business entity or Alabama employer must enroll in E-Verify and confirm the employment eligibility of their employees through E-Verify according to E-Verify’s criteria.  Employers who violate this provision of the Beason-Hammon Act also risk losing their business licenses.

To comply with the requirements of the E-Verify program, Alabama employers should visit www.uscis.gov and enroll as E-Verify users.  For answers to questions concerning the Beason-Hammon Act, please contact Brandon Davis at brandon.davis@phelps.com.