How to Handle E-Verify Obligations for Acquired Employees

If you are utilizing the Government’s right to work program, E-Verify, you may be interested in the following.

Many organizations grow through acquisition. Expanding into a new territory or market can bring great opportunities for a growing company.

But, how do these acquisitions impact HR, particularly when it comes to participation in E-Verify?

As the HR representative for a company using E-Verify, you are aware that once you begin using the system you must run all new employees through the program within 3 days of their start.

The question then becomes, when you add employees through the acquisition of another company, how does the government expect me to handle this?

According to the E-Verify customer support team, here are your options:

  • Make all acquired employees fill out new I-9 forms and submit them through the E-Verify program, as if they were newly hired.
  • OR, accept the current I-9 forms, from the acquired company and NOT put the newly acquired employees through the E-Verify system.

If you choose the second option you must understand that you are accepting the existing I-9 forms as valid and you become responsible for any irregularities in those forms.  So, if there is an audit of employment eligibility and there are any problems with those I-9 forms you will be held responsible.

If you are contemplating this scenario it is in your best interest to review the I-9 forms before determining the direction you will take.  If you cannot perform this review your best option will likely be to have the acquired employees fill out a new I-9 forms.