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State Workforce

. . .   What is a State Workforce Agency?

1. Some states refer to their employment agencies as State Workforce Agencies (SWA) while others refer to them as State Employment Agencies. Both are considered SWAs for E-Verify purposes.

2. How does E-Verify work?
Based on the information provided by the referred worker on their Form I-9, E-Verify electronically checks this information against records contained in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) databases. E-Verify provides SWAs an MOU, User Manual and other materials that contain guidance on E-Verify procedures and requirements. Once you sign the MOU and complete the current E-Verify tutorial, you may begin using the system to verify the employment authorization of all referred workers. You should review the SWA Quick Reference Guide before using E-Verify.

3. Are all SWAs required to participate in E-Verify?
No, but we recommend that SWAs use E-Verify to verify the employment authorization of referred workers.

4. Why should we participate in E-Verify?
E-Verify is currently the best means available for SWAs to electronically verify the employment authorization of prospective workers. E-Verify helps reduce Social Security mismatch letters, protects jobs for authorized U.S. workers, and helps U.S. employers maintain a legal workforce.

5. Will our participation in E-Verify provide safe harbor from worksite enforcement?
E-Verify does not provide safe harbor from worksite enforcement.
E-Verify participants may still be subject to worksite inspections and audits. An employer that does not participate in E-Verify assumes the legal burden of demonstrating compliance with I-9 requirements, and other relevant employment laws relating to authorized workers. However, employers that participate in E-Verify do not bear this burden, and are provided a “rebuttable presumption” of compliance with the verification process. The “rebuttable presumption” shifts the burden from the employer, to the Government, to demonstrate non-compliance with the verification process.

The top reasons State Workforce Agencies should consider participating in E-Verify are:

SWA E-Verify Registration

State Workforce Agencies must register for E-Verify using a specially designed process, rather than the Employer Registration site that all other program participants use.  To register, read the one-page document titled SWA Registration Process, for a step-by-step guide of the process. 

SWA Memorandum of Understanding

The MOU is an agreement between the State Workforce Agency, the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration about using the E-Verify program.  To participate in E-Verify, SWAs must review and sign the document, and send it to USCIS by following the instructions in the SWA Registration Process. 

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