Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Bill Ekler is the CEO of Overland Products in Fremont, NE, one of the many states that have adopted statewide EVerify laws. Soon after the ordinance came into effect, Ekler posted a notifications that Overland would be participating in the program and would determine whether prospective employees had valid Social Security numbers. The number of job applicants quickly dropped.
“It became clear that you’d better have those documents to work here,” Ekler said. “…I didn’t want undocumented workers to make my life miserable.”
That misery he is referring to is the penalties and fines employers face for hiring illegal workers. Even in those states that do not require E-Verify, the penalties apply. There are serious legal fees ranging from $250 - $11,000 per violation including possible jail time.
The penalties don't just apply to those who knowingly hire illegals, if an employer cannot prove it took the proper steps to verify their employment status and continued to employ them.
There is currently a push in Washington to implement the program on a national scale that would require all states to participate. Currently, all federal contractors must use the E-Verify program to verify the identity of their workers.