Effective January 1, 2012, Tennessee state law requires that the work authorization status of all newly hired employees must be verified through the federal E-Verify program. The E-Verify process must be completed within 3 days of an employee’s hire date.  Failure to comply with these regulations can result in substantial penalties to the University, with fines up to $2,500 per violation and $2,500 per person not properly verified.

The pressure on us as an institution is that we now have only three days to complete both:

  • The I-9 form (federal form for which specific types of identification and work authorization documents must be presented) AND
  • The electronic E-Verify process.

The I-9 form is generally filled out in the hiring department; the E-Verify process will be done in HR/Payroll.

To ensure we are able to verify work authorization status in E-Verify within this 3 day window, departments must complete all sections of the I-9 form and fax or deliver a copy of the completed I-9 to HR/Payroll on the first day of hire. Whenever possible, departments are encouraged to have new hires complete the I-9 form prior to their start date. We can run the E-Verify check any time after a prospective employee has accepted an offer of employment, but the E-Verify check MUST be done with 3 days of the date of hire.

This means that no individual can be put on University payroll prior to the E-Verify check being performed.  This applies to all new hires:  regular staff, faculty, term, and student workers.  A properly completed Form I-9 and accompanying documents must be submitted promptly to the Office of Human Resources in order for HR to complete E-Verify in a timely manner.

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