NFIB: E-Verify and Tennessee Businesses


The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has updated information for Tennessee businesses to help owners and managers keep up with what Tennessee state law requires when it comes to the E-Verify system.

As of Jan. 1, 2017 – due to an update to the Tennessee Lawful Employment Act (TLEA) passed in 2011 – all Tennessee employers with 50 or more employees must use the E-Verify system to verify that their workers are eligible for U.S. employment.

Previously, employers had a choice of compliance options; now employers of this size must use E-Verify. If a staff member was hired on or after Jan. 1, 2017, E-Verify must be used for them. This applies to employees working in or outside the state of Tennessee, and if the employer fails to use E-Verify, they could receive a $500 civil penalty per day of noncompliance (or more for repeat offenses).

Employers with between six and 49 employees are required to either use E-Verify for workers hired on or after Jan. 1, 2017, or request and retain I-9 documentation from each employee. I-9 documentation includes:

Tennessee driver’s license or photo id license issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety

Valid driver’s license or photo id license issued by another state where requirements for licensure are at least as strict as those of Tennessee (the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development will prepare and maintain a list of such states on the department’s website)

Official birth certificate issued by a U.S. state, jurisdiction or territory

U.S. government-issued birth certificate

Valid unexpired U.S. passport

Report of birth abroad of a citizen of the U.S.

Certificate of U.S. citizenship

Certificate of naturalization

U.S. citizen identification card

Valid alien registration documentation or other proof of current registration recognized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Employers with fewer than six employees are not required to use E-Verify in Tennessee.

The TLEA also applies to “non-employees,” or those who not employed directly but are paid directly by the employer for labor or services.

Also, see here for further information via the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.





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One Thought to “NFIB: E-Verify and Tennessee Businesses”

  1. Donna Locke

    The business lobby, including the NFIB, has been the major player in the destruction of this country. I hope they live long enough to fully experience the consequences of their actions.

    The “document” option they lobbied for and got in lieu of E-Verify on all employers in Tennessee when the lobby persuaded Joe Carr and Jim Tracy to eviscerate their pair of E-Verify bills years ago is a joke. Tracy came back later and got a bill passed to require E-Verify of employers of 50 or more, leaving most employers in the state with the free-skate option. The “documents” required for the smaller employers can be fraudulent or insufficient; the employers aren’t required to verify them.

    E-Verify would make these employers accountable, and the business lobby doesn’t want that.