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Pennsylvania Construction Employers Must Use E-Verify

August 31, 2020 Alerts

Learn about the Employee Verification Act and enrolling directly with Paylocity's E-verify.

At a Glance

  • Effective October 7, 2020 Pennsylvania employers in the construction industry must use E-verify.
  • Paylocity clients with onboarding can add E-verify to their onboarding module, or can enroll directly with E-verify if they do not use onboarding.
  • House Bill 1170, the Construction industry Employee Verification Act (Act 75), is available

Introduction – Act 75

Pennsylvania House Bill 1170, the Construction Industry Employee Verification Act (Act 75), goes into effect on October 7, 2020. The act requires any individual, entity, or organization in the construction industry that conducts business in Pennsylvania and employs at least one person in the Commonwealth to verify the work eligibility of their new employees through E-Verify. Staffing agencies that supply workers to a construction industry employer are also covered under the act. Act 75 does not replace an employers Form I-9 verification or the E-Verify responsibilities set forth in Pennsylvania’s Public Works Employment.

E-Verify is a program that confirms a worker's eligibility to work in the United States after finishing the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9). The tool is the best means for employers to electronically confirm the employment eligibility of newly hired workers.

Enforcement

The Department of Labor and Industry may enforce Act 75 by

  • Entering and inspecting the place of business or place of employment of any employer of employees in the commonwealth, at any reasonable time, for the purpose of examining and inspecting records that may relate to compliance with the act.
  • Copying any or all records the department may deem necessary or appropriate
  • Require an employer to provide full and accurate statements in writing of the work authorization and verification process for all employees, as the department deems necessary.
  • Question persons for the purpose of determining whether an employer has complied with the act.

If the department is investigating a compliant, they must follow the Federal Government Regulation under 642(c) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.  Commonwealth or local official may not attempt to independently make a final determination on whether an unauthorized employee is authorized to work in the United States.

Violations

If an employer is in violation of the act, for the first violation, the Department of Labor and Industry will issue a warning letter and the employer has 10 days to terminate any unauthorized employees. For following offenses that fall within 10 years after the initial violation, the attorney general shall bring an action against the employer in the county where the employer employed the unauthorized worker.

If an employer is found in violation of Act 75 by the attorney general:

  • The employer must terminate each unauthorized worker within five business days, and verify they have terminated the employees in writing.
  • The employer will enter a three year probationary period and will be required to file quarterly reports with the department of labor and industry for all new hires, and they may not knowingly hire an unauthorized employee.
  • The employers license may be suspended if the employer fails to submit a timely verification, until the verification is filed.

Safe Harbor Rules

A construction industry employer that relies in good faith on the E-Verify program to verify employment eligibility of new employees under this act shall have no liability to an individual who is not hired or who is discharged from employment if incorrect information has been provided to the construction industry employer.

General Contractors are not considered in violation when a subcontractor knowingly employs unauthorized employees, if the contractor has done the following:

  1. Required compliance with this act in the contract with the subcontractor, including providing for the termination of the contract upon court-ordered sanctions for a violation of this act by the subcontractor.
  2. Obtained written verification from the subcontractor that the subcontractor is aware of the provisions of this act and is responsible for compliance

Next Steps

If you have onboarding through Paylocity, you can add E-verify to your onboarding module. Please reach out to your account manager for additional information about adding E-verify.

If you do not use Paylocity for onboarding, and do not already have an E-verify account, please reach out to E-verify directly to enroll. You can enroll here.

Thank you for choosing Paylocity as your Payroll Tax and HCM partner.

This information is provided as a courtesy, it may change and is not intended as legal or tax guidance. Employers with questions or concerns outside the scope of a Payroll Service Provider are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified CPA, Tax Attorney or Advisor.


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