Since July 1, 2013, all private employers with 25 or more employees in North Carolina have been required to use E-Verify to verify the work authorization of all newly hired employees. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 64-26(a) (2019). Effective October 1, 2015, the General Assembly extended the E-Verify requirement by prohibiting public owners from entering into contracts with contractors who did not comply with E-Verify laws. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 143-133.3(a); 143-48.5 (2019). However, this did not require a contractor to use E-Verify just because it held a public contract. Because the law only required state contractors and subcontractors to comply with article 2 of chapter 64, as long as the state contractor had 24 or less employees, it was not required to use E-Verify.
The General Assembly has now proposed to change that and require that all state contractors and subcontractors use E-Verify regardless of how many employees it has. House Bill 244, as proposed, will require all state contractors and subcontractors to use E-Verify by adding the following language to G.S. 143-48.5 and G.S. 143-133.3:
Notwithstanding G.S. 64-25(4), for the purposes of this section, the definition of employer shall be any person, business entity, or other organization that transacts business in this State and that employs one or more employees in this State.
If HB 244 is passed, it will require all state contractors and subcontractors to comply with E-Verify. The Bill was most recently referred to the Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House. Contractors who do, or may, bid on state construction projects should be sure to monitor HB 244 (and any other bills) which may affect their eligibility to be awarded state contracts.
If you or your company have questions about HB244, construction in general, employment or labor law issues, please contact Anderson Jones Attorneys by email or phone at (919) 277-2541.