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The U.S. House Judiciary Committee passed the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1772) on June 26 in a vote of 22-9. The bill would establish a new mandatory employment verification system by modifying the current E-verify system. ABC sent a letter of support to the committee chairman before the vote.

“We believe this legislation represents a first step toward a reliable and efficient system that works for both employers and employees,” ABC wrote in the letter

Specifically, ABC expressed appreciation for the following:

  • A strong safe harbor provision to protect employers from prosecution or penalties when they act in good faith while using E-Verify.
  • Federal preemption language that will better allow employers to conduct business across state lines without being in constant conflict with state or local laws that mandate verification for employment eligibility purposes.
  • A two-year phase-in for employers with less than 20 employees. This gradual phase-in provides many of our members, who have limited resources, a reasonable timeframe to comply with the online E-Verify system.
  • The toll-free telephonic option for those unable to access the system electronically.
“ABC continues to support a workable, reliable, efficient and easy-to-use employment verification system that meets regulators’ needs without unduly burdening commerce and hampering economic growth,” ABC wrote.