E-Verify is a program run by the United States government to help certify that employees hired by companies are legally authorized to work in the United States.
Who must Use E-Verify at the University of Houston?
E-Verify is mandatory for all employees that will work and be paid on federal contracts or subcontracts that contain the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause. Federal contractors and subcontractors are required to use E-Verify as of September 8, 2009. Currently, Universities are given the option of applying it only to those employees working on a contract that uses the e-verify language. Other employers must apply the procedure to all of their employees.
When must UH employees be E-Verified?
Employees that are budgeted to work on a contract should be e-Verified within 90 days of the contract award date. Other employees have 30 days from the date the faculty assigns them to work on the contract to be E-Verified. Whichever of those occurs later is the deadline for e-Verify for existing employees. HR will use the original I-9 date of hire for E-Verify purposes, not the award date or the assignment to the contract date. NEW EMPLOYEES must be e-Verified within 3 days of employment. There is no 90-day window or 30-day window for these employees that are assigned to a federal contract at the time of their employment.
How is E-Verify set up at the University?
To use the E-Verify system, the University of Houston must enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which manages the system. The University of Houston Human Resources has already taken care of this step. Sponsors will ask us for copies of our MOU, which HR has shared with us.
Implementation of E-Verify
New fund codes, 5043, 5044, and 5045 were established for new federal contracts, but not all of them will be subject to the E-Verify requirement. When OCG receives a contract or contract modification with the E-Verify requirement, we will notify Payroll by sending Susan Nester the speed type of the cost center. Susan Nester will forward to HR the names of all individuals for which an E-Par was initiated with this cost center. The PI and the DBA will also be notified on the Notice of Award that the contract requires E-Verification for all employees.
Departments should inform the affected employees so that they may contact HR to begin the E-Verification process.
Issues that may arise due to E-Verify
If the E-Verify data check does not result in a match of the employee’s credentials, the employee has ten days to contest the finding with the government and to correct his or her records in the government database. If after ten days the issue is not resolved, the individual may not be paid from the contract in question. An example of this might be that the individual got married and did not change their information with Social Security Administration.
Late reallocations to projects requiring E-Verification will not be possible. The University of Houston, in keeping with the practices of other Universities will prohibit reallocations on E-Verify contracts.
It is possible that long-time faculty members may wish to take their summer salary from one of these contracts. At that point their credentials would have to be checked by the E-Verify process.
More information about E-Verify can be found at the Department of Homeland Security’s website.