Employment Related State Immigration Laws

The following state law summaries pertain to private employers.  In many cases, these laws cover a private employer if it is doing business with the state as a contractor or subcontractor.  Agricultural work is generally excluded from the list below.

ArizonaArizona Governor Janet Napolitano (D) has signed into law H.B. 2745 making revisions to the Legal Arizona Workers Act, which prohibits employers from intentionally or knowingly hiring undocumented workers. In her January 14, 2008, State of the State Address, Governor Napolitano urged the Arizona State Legislature to fix what she deemed "flaws" in the Act. Signed by Napolitano on May 1, the revisions bill clarifies that employers would be sanctioned only for the undocumented workers on their payrolls as of January 1, 2008 and thereafter. The bill also provides additional safeguards for employers who make good-faith efforts to comply with the law. Since the bill passed each chamber of the state legislature with a 2/3 vote, it takes effect immediately upon Napolitano's signature. The bill as transmitted to the Governor can be found at: http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/48leg/2r/bills/hb2745h.pdf.

Background. Signed in July 2007 and effective January 1, 2008, the Legal Arizona Workers Act (H.B. 2779), which suspends and revokes business licenses of employers that intentionally or knowingly employ undocumented workers in the United States, requires the Attorney General or the state's county attorneys to investigate all complaints made against employers relating to the employment of undocumented workers, but only county attorneys can file charges against employers under the Act. In addition, Arizona employers also must check the legal status of their new hires using E-Verify, the voluntary Internet-based program operated by the Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the Social Security Administration that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. Employers using the system are entitled to a rebuttable presumption that they did not knowingly or intentionally employ an undocumented worker. Media reports indicate that around 25,000 Arizona employers have signed up for E-Verify. Some 150,000 Arizona businesses would have to sign up for E-Verify.

On a finding of a knowing violation, (i.e., constructive knowledge) employers would have their business license suspended for up to 10 days. Businesses that intentionally employ undocumented workers (i.e., having knowledge) would have their license suspended for 10 days or longer. In addition, the employer must discharge all undocumented workers at the business and sign an affidavit with at their respective county attorney's office stating that the employment of all undocumented workers has been terminated and that there will no more knowing or intentional employment of any undocumented workers. Employer would be placed on probation for three years during which time they must file quarterly reports with their county attorney listing each new employee hired at the specific location where the undocumented worker was previously employed. A second offense while on probation can result in what has been referred to as the "business death penalty" -- permanent revocation of an employer's license to do business in the state of Arizona. The law in its entirety can be found at: http://www.maricopacountyattorney.org/lawa/statutes.

The revisions. H.B. 2745 revises the Legal Arizona Workers Act to clarify that employers would be sanctioned only for the undocumented workers on their payroll (i.e., their new hires) as of January 1, 2008 and thereafter and excludes independent contractors from the definition of "employee." This means that the law is not retroactive. Additional proposed changes to the Act include:

  • A requirement that the Arizona Attorney General create a complaint form for alleging violations. The complaint form cannot require the complainant's Social Security number or be notarized. In addition, the Attorney General and county attorneys may investigate complaints not on the prescribed form, which means that anonymous complaints are allowed under the Act. Action required of the Attorney General must occur after the Attorney General and county attorneys determine that the complaint is not frivolous and false. Business groups have objected to this revision of the law, claiming that employers would be subjected to anonymous complaints from former, discontent employees or competitors.
  • Stipulating that penalties apply solely to the business location where the undocumented worker performed work, so if a business has multiple locations, the other sites would be unaffected.
  • Stipulating that for the employment of undocumented workers, an individual who performs services and is not an employee under Section 3508 of the Internal Revenue Code is considered an independent contractor.
  • A requirement that employers with two or more employees that are paid in cash to comply with: (1) income tax withholding; (2) new hire directory filing; (3) unemployment; and (4) workers' compensation. The Attorney General can bring actions in court against employers who pay their employees in cash who violate the Act. The monetary penalty, which would be equal to the greater of triple the amount the employer failed to remit under specified employment laws or $5,000 for each employee related to the violation, would be in addition to any other penalties imposed by the Act.
  • Stipulating that an employer is considered to have complied with US immigration law if there is a good faith attempt to comply, including isolated, sporadic or accidental technical or procedural issues that may occur. Separately, the attorney general must set up a Voluntary Employer Enhanced Compliance Program to offer employers with another layer of protection under the Act. Aside from being required to verify a new hire's eligibility with the federal government's E-Verify program, employer's could check whether the hire is authorized by using the Social Security Administration's Social Security Number Verification Service.

Even with the Governor's approval of the legislature revision, there are two other measures making some noise that also seek to revise the Legal Arizona Workers Act, but they require 153,365 valid signatures by July 3 in order to be placed on the 2008 ballot. One measure, called the "Support Legal Arizona Workers" led by former gubernatorial candidate Don Goldwater and supported by Representative Russell Pearce (R-Mesa), would permanently revoke the licenses of businesses that knowingly hire undocumented workers on the first offense. Alternatively, the "Stop Illegal Hiring" measure, spearheaded by former Assistant US Attorney Andrew Pacheco, would create new identity theft penalties and narrow the scope of the types of licenses which can be revoked for a violation of the law. Media reports indicate that the state legislatures' revision to the Legal Arizona Workers Act was completed in part to keep these measures off the November ballot.

Court challenge ongoing. On February 28, 2008 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a consolidated action from a coalition of business groups and immigration rights advocates (plaintiffs-appellants) requesting an injunction to block implementation of Arizona's employer sanctions law while the circuit court considers the legality of the law on appeal. "Balancing the seriousness of the legal questions presented, the likelihood of success on the merits, the possibility of irreparable injury to appellants, and the evidence of hardships to both sides, we conclude the appellants have not shown that the case warrants a grant of temporary relief during the pendency of these expedited appeals," held the Ninth Circuit.

Arkansas HB 1024 - Act 157  (Signed 02/28/2007) State agencies are prohibited from contracting with businesses that employ illegal immigrants. Contractors must certify that they do not employ or contract with an illegal immigrant. http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/ftproot/acts/2007/public/Act157.pdf

Colorado HB 1073 (Signed 03/16/2007) Concerns the use of the Basic Pilot Program in connection with a public contract for services in order to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees.  (Title 8, Chapter 17.5, Sections 8-17.5-101 and 8-17.5.102) Effective August 3, 2007 http://www.leg.state.co.us/Clics/Clics2007A/csl.nsf/fsbillcont3/

Connecticut. Employers are prohibited from knowingly employing illegal aliens. (Title 31, Section 31-51k.) http://www.cga.ct.gov/2007/pub/Chap557.htm#Sec31-51k.htm

Florida. --The employment of unauthorized aliens is prohibited. (Chapter 448, Section 448.09.) http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=

Georgia (S. 529, L. 2006). Public employers and their contractors or subcontractors must register in the federal work authorization program (the BASIC pilot program, https://www.vis-dhs.com/EmployerRegistration/StartPage.aspx?JS=YES ) to verify information on all new employees. Effective dates are staggered depending on an employer's size:

  • July 1, 2007, for those with 500 or more employees
  • July 1, 2008, for those with 100 or more employees
  • July 1, 2009, for those with fewer than 100 employees

Restriction on business expenses. The law will also prohibit employers from claiming $600 or more of wages paid to any undocumented employee hired on or after January 1, 2008, as a deductible business expense for state income tax purposes.

Withholdings for nonresident aliens. Effective July 1, 2007, employers will be required to withhold state income tax at a rate of 6% from nonresident aliens for whom a 1099 has been filed when the nonresident alien has:

  1. Failed to provide a taxpayer ID number;
  2. Failed to provide a correct taxpayer ID number; or
  3. Provided a nonresident taxpayer ID number.

Any employer who fails to comply with the withholding requirements is liable for the taxes that should have been withheld.

Kansas. The employment of aliens illegally within the territory of the U.S. is prohibited. (Chapter 21, Article 44, Section 21,4409.http://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-statutes/getStatute.do?number=11941

Illinois H 1743 (Public Act 095-0137) Relates to immigrant employment eligibility verification of Social Security numbers and Homeland Security databases. Provides for regulations of civil rights violation for an employer participating in the Basic Pilot Program. Prohibits discrimination on basis of citizenship.  Effective Date: 1/1/2008 http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=095-0137

Illinois H 1744 (Public Act 095-0138) Amends the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act. Provides that employers are prohibited from enrolling in any Employment Eligibility Verification System, including the Basic Pilot program, as authorized by federal law, until the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security databases are able to make a determination on 99% of the tentative non-confirmation notices issued to employers within 3 days, unless otherwise required by federal law. Provides that the Department of Human Rights shall establish a statewide advisory council to study the effects of Employment Eligibility Verification Systems, including the Basic Pilot program, on employers and employees in Illinois.  Effective date: 1/1/2008.  http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=095-0138

Louisiana (Act 636 (S. 753), L. 2006, effective June 23, 2006). This 2006 law authorizes the state attorney general or local district attorney to issue a cease and desist order after discovering an employer has hired undocumented aliens and subjects employers to fines and suspension or revocation of their business license http://www.abc.org/user-assets/Documents/Government%20Affairs/

Louisiana. --No person shall employ, hire, recruit, or refer, for private or public employment within the state,  an alien who is not entitled to lawfully reside in the U.S. (Title 23, Chapter 9, Part VI, Sections 991 through 996.)

Maine.--Employers within the state may not knowingly employ aliens who have not been lawfully admitted to the U.S., unless authorized by the U.S. INS.  (Title 26, Chapter 7, Subchapter IX, Section 871.)

Massachusetts. Employers are prohibited from knowingly employing any alien who has not been admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence, except those who are admitted under a work permit, or unless the employment of such alien is authorized by the U.S. Attorney General. (Part I, Title XXI, Chapter 149, Section 19C.) Also, all Executive Branch contracts entered into after February 23, 2007, must require contractors to certify, as a condition of receiving Commonwealth funds under the contract, that they will not knowingly use undocumented workers in connection with the performance of the contract. Pursuant to federal requirements, they must verify the immigration status of all workers assigned to the contract without engaging in unlawful discrimination and not knowingly or recklessly alter, falsify, or accept altered or falsified documents from any such worker. (Executive Order No. 481, signed February 23, 2007, by Governor Deval L. Patrick, effective immediately.)

Minnesota SF 167 - Chapter 128 (Signed 05/ 24/2007) Relates to unemployment insurance. Personal data gathered from any person under the administration of the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Law may be disseminated to federal Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration.  An alien is ineligible for unemployment benefits for any week the alien is not authorized to work in the United States under federal law, unemployment benefits must not be paid on the basis of wage credits earned by an alien unless the alien (1) was lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of the employment, (2) was lawfully present for the purposes of the employment, (3) was permanently residing in the United States under color of law at the time of the employment. Any information required of applicants applying for unemployment benefits to determine eligibility because of their alien status must be required from all applicants.

Mississippi SB 2448 (Signed 04/25/2007) Administration of unemployment compensation law by Mississippi Department of Employment Security. Benefits shall not be payable on the basis of services performed by an alien, unless such alien is an individual who was lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time such services were performed, was lawfully present for purposes of performing such services, or was permanently residing in the United States under color of law at the time such services were performed

Mississippi governor signs employment verification legislation into law -- STATE LAW (submitted to CCH Online Mar 19, 2008)

Despite a recent proposal in the House of Representatives (H.R. 5115) to replace the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) E-Verify program, Mississippi has become the next state after Arizona to enact legislation requiring all of its employers to verify the legal status of their new hires using the federal government's program. Called the Mississippi Employment Protection Act, Governor Haley Barbour (R) signed the bill into law on March 17, 2008. Although the governor signed the bill, which was authored by State Senator Michael Watson (R-Pascagoula), he nevertheless expressed concerns over mandating the E-Verify system as the sole source from which an employer in Mississippi can verify a potential employee's eligibility, especially since the federal government itself has said E-Verify is not a reliable system. In a March 17 statement, Barbour urged the legislature to add other reliable verification systems beyond E-Verify to confirm the hiring eligibility of potential employees.

E-Verify is the voluntary Internet-based system operated by DHS's US Citizenship and Immigration Services bureau in partnership with the Social Security Administration, which allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. More information on E-Verify can be found at: http://www.dhs.gov/ximgtn/programs/gc_1185221678150.shtm .

Provisions. Among its provisions, the Mississippi Employment Protection Act will require that contractors and subcontractors register and participate in E-Verify to verify the work eligibility of all newly hired employees. In addition, after July 1, 2008, the Act will make it a discriminatory practice for a Mississippi employer to discharge a US citizen or legal permanent resident employee while retaining an illegal alien hired in a comparable position (i.e., equal skill, effort and responsibility, and which is performed under similar working conditions) if the employer knows or reasonably knows that the retained employee was undocumented. A "safe harbor" exemption from liability, investigation or suit applies for employers who use were enrolled in and used E-Verify. The Act does maintain an antidiscrimination provision confirming that the provisions of the Act will be enforced without regard to race, gender, religion, ethnicity or national origin.

The bill also will require that third-party employers (i.e., leasing companies and contract employers) that conduct business in Mississippi to register with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security before placing employees into the state's workforce. In addition, third-party employers would also have to provide proof of registration and any participation in E-Verify to any Mississippi employer with whom they do business.

Effective dates. State of Mississippi agencies and political subdivisions, public contractors and public subcontractors and private employers with 250 or more employees must meet the Act's verification requirements no later than July 1, 2008. Employers with 100-249 employees must meet the Act's verification requirements no later than July 1, 2009. Employers with 30-99 employees must meet the Act's verification requirements no later than July 1, 2010. All other employers must meet the verification requirements proposed in the Act by July 1, 2011.

Penalties. Any employer violating the provisions of the Act would be subject to the cancellation of any state or public contract, resulting in ineligibility for any state or public contract for up to three years, the loss of any license, permit, certificate or other document granted to the employer by any agency, department or government entity in the State of Mississippi for the right to do business in the state for up to one year, or both. In addition, an employer's contractors will be liable under the Act for any additional costs incurred by the agencies the state because of the cancellation of the contract or the loss of any license or permit to do business in the state. Further, in cases where illegal aliens are knowingly hired, both the alien worker and the employer could be imprisoned for one-five years, fined $1000-$10,000, or both.

To view the Mississippi Employment Protection Act in its entirety, visit: http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/documents/2008/pdf/SB/2900-2999/SB2988PS.pdf .

Missouri. State agencies are required to audit all of the contractors doing business with the state to ensure that the current employees of those contractors are legally eligible to work within the U.S. Each agency shall collect the information required to make such a determination and verify its accuracy. (Executive Order 07-13, reads as signed by Governor Matt Blunt on March 6, 2007.) http://www.gov.mo.gov/eo/2007/eo07_013.htm

Following a House vote early May 16, 2008, the Missouri Senate gave final approval to the state's comprehensive immigration reform bill (H.B. 1549, http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills081/bills/hb1549.htm), sending it to Governor Matt Blunt (R) for his signature. The bill requires business entities and public employers to participate in E-Verify. E-Verify is the voluntary Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security's US Citizenship and Immigration Services bureau in partnership with the Social Security Administration, which allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. More information on E-Verify can be found at: http://www.dhs.gov/ximgtn/programs/gc_1185221678150.shtm. As a condition for the award of any contract or grant in excess of five thousand dollars by the state or by any political subdivision of the state to a business entity, or for any business entity receiving a state-administered or subsidized tax credit, tax abatement, or loan from the state, the contractor must also enroll in E-Verify.

Employers who employ undocumented workers are subject to the suspension of their business permits and licenses or exemptions. If an employer is found to have knowingly hired an undocumented worker, its licenses can be suspended for 14 days. Permits, licenses and exemptions will be reinstated for entities who comply at the end of the fourteen day period by: (1) terminating the undocumented worker; or (2) requesting a second verification from the federal government, signing a sworn affidavit stating that the violation has ended and submitting documentation confirming the entity is enrolled in a federal work authorization program. A second violation results in the suspension of an employer's business permits and licenses or exemptions for one year. Subsequent violations can result in permanent revocation of the employer's applicable licenses. State contractors may have their contracts voided and will be barred from contracting with the state for three years. Subsequent violations would result in a void contract and a permanent bar from contracting with the state. Any business entity that participates in E-Verify will have an affirmative defense that it has not violated knowingly employed, recruited, hired for employment, or continued to employ an unauthorized alien to perform work within the state of Missouri. The employment provisions would become effective January 1, 2009.

The bill would also bar employers with five or more employees performing public works from knowingly misclassifying employees as independent contractors. The attorney general would have the power to investigate alleged misclassifications. Injunctions may be sought and employers would be charged $50 per day per misclassified worker up to a maximum of $50,000 for violations. When workers are contractors, employers do not have to pay withholding taxes or provide other benefits. Other provisions include one in which the Department of Revenue will not issue any driver's license to illegal aliens or to persons who cannot prove their lawful presence in the state. In addition, commercial driver's license tests will be given in English without a translator.

Montana. Under state law the employment of aliens not lawfully authorized to accept employment is prohibited. (Title 39, Chapter 2, Section 39-2-305.) http://data.opi.state.mt.us/bills/mca/39/2/39-2-305.htm

NevadaAB 383 This law provides administrative fines for those business licensees that are found to employ illegal aliens. This bill also requires verification of an employee's social security number with the Social Security Administration. http://www.leg.state.nv.us/74th/Bills/Amendments/A_AB383_R1_785.PDF

Nevada AB 496 - Chapter 537 (Signed 06/15/2007) Makes various changes concerning workers' compensation. The provisions of the act do not apply in favor of aliens who are nonresidents of the United States at the time of the accident, injury to, or death.

New Hampshire. --No employer may employ an alien whom the employer knows is not a citizen of the U.S. and not in possession of Form I-151, Alien Registration Receipt Card or any other document issued by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service or the U.S. Attorney General which authorizes the person to work. (Title  XXIII, Chapter 275-A, Sections 275-A:4a and 275-A:5 and Title XXX, Chapter 332-A, Section 332-A:2.)  Note:  Form I-151 is no longer an acceptable document for proof of identity and employment eligibility according to USCIS rules.

Oklahoma. --Public employers, including contractors and subcontractors, are required to verify work authorization of all new employees beginning July 1, 2008. Contractors are required to register and participate in the Status Verification System to verify the work eligibility of all new employees. In addition, it would be discriminatory for public employers to discharge a legal U.S. resident working in Oklahoma while retaining an illegal immigrant hired after July 1, 2008, in a comparable job. (Title 25, Sections 1312 and 1313, as enacted by H.B. H.B. 1804, L. 2007, effective Nov. 1, 2007.)

An Oklahoma City federal judge June 4 issued a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the employer-related portions of Oklahoma’s new immigration law because it is “substantially likely” the law’s provisions unconstitutionally interfere with federal regulation of the employment of unauthorized workers.  Although several provisions of the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, more commonly known as House Bill 1804, went into effect Nov. 1, 2007, the employment related provisions were set to go into effect July 1. One provision requires employers working with the state to use the E-Verify Program, the federal government’s experimental program for electronically verifying work eligibility. A second provision subjects a state contractor or subcontractor to liability if it knew or “should have known” that an employee was unauthorized to work.  The law was challenged by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce along with several local chambers of commerce and other business groups. The court’s decision blocks enforcement while the litigation remains pending.

Oregon HB 2244/SB202  (Signed 06/01/2007) Requires the Department of Consumer and Business Services to develop a plan to eliminate the sunset of provisions related to permanent partial disability awards in workers' compensation claims. If the worker is a person present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws, the insurer or self-insured employer shall cease payments.

Rhode Island, Executive Order 08-01 All contractors and subcontractors with the state must register and use the federal E-Verify program to ensure compliance with federal and state immigration laws.  March 27, 2008. Text of order (http://www.governor.ri.gov/documents/Immigration_Exec_Order_08-01.pdf).

South Carolina. Public and private employers will be required to verify the legal status of new employees through the E-Verify program or with a valid South Carolina’s driver’s license.  Effective January 1, 2009, the requirements will apply to public and private employers with 100 or more employees.  All private employers must comply by January 1, 2010.  A private employer that verifies the immigration status of a new employee in good faith is presumed to have complied with the requirements.  Private employers that knowingly or intentionally employ an unauthorized alien are subject to a civil penalty of $100 - $1,000 for each violation, business license suspension for a first or second offense, and a license revocation for third or subsequent violation [H.B. 4400, L. 2008].

Tennessee Executive Order No. 41 requires executive agencies within Tennessee's government to spot check the personnel records of state contractors and subcontractors and issue fines to businesses that employ undocumented workers. Public Chapter No 878 bars state contracts for businesses and individuals that knowingly employ illegal labor. While the law doesn't take effect until January 2007, many of its provisions will be immediately implemented through Executive Order 41. (www.tennesseeanytime.org/governor/AdminCMSServlet?action=viewFile&id=871)

Tennessee HB 729 (Signed - 06/26/2007) Creates the criminal offenses of recklessly employing an illegal alien, knowingly employing an illegal alien, and knowingly encouraging or inducing an illegal alien to enter the state for the purpose of employing such illegal alien. Provides for fines up to $50,000.  http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/bills/currentga/BILL/HB0729.pdf

Tennessee SB 903 This law provides that employers shall not accept an individual tax identification number (ITIN) to prove immigration status. Many illegal aliens apply for tax identification numbers even though their presence is unlawful. The IRS has declared that ITINs may only be used to file tax returns, but has testified to Congress that it lacks authority to stop unlawful ITIN use. http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/bills/currentga/BILL/SB0903.pdf

In an amendment (S.B. 4069) to the state's Illegal Alien Employment Act (codified in the Tennessee Code Section 50-1-103), on April 29, 2008, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen (D) signed into law in May 2008 a bill that would release the identities of state or local governmental agencies, officers, employees or entities filing complaints against businesses regarding their employment or recruitment of undocumented workers. Under the Illegal Alien Employment Act, which went into effect January 1, 2008, employers who knowingly hire, employ, recruit or refer for a fee for employment an illegal alien could face suspension of their local or state issued license related to their business for up to one year. The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, which enforces the law, investigates complaints from state or local governmental agencies and their employees who believe that employers are violate the Act.

Under S.B. 4069, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development must inform the person against whom the complaint is filed that s/he person is authorized to request the name of the person who filed the complaint or caused the complaint to be filed. If the person against whom the complaint is filed requests the complainant's name then the commissioner will be required to provide the name.

Texas HB 1196 (Signed 06/15/2007) Relates to restrictions on the use of certain public subsidies to employ undocumented workers, provides that a public agency, state or local taxing jurisdiction, or economic development corporation shall require a business that submits an application to receive a public subsidy to include in the application a statement certifying that the business, or a branch, division, or department of the business, does not and will not knowingly employ an undocumented worker.

Utah SB 103 (Signed 3/13/2007) An Act Concerning Ineligibility for Unemployment Compensation Benefits.  Defines ineligibility for Unemployment Compensation Benefits, this includes not having legal status.

On March 13, 2008, Utah’s Governor signed bill S.B. 81. Among the law's employment-related provisions, public entities must register with and use E-Verify or another employment verification system to verify the eligibility of their new employees beginning July 1, 2009. E-Verify is a voluntary, Web-based system operated by US Citizenship and Immigration Services in partnership with the Social Security Administration that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. In addition, public employers may not enter into contracts with the state unless they register with and use a verification system to verify the work eligibility of a contractor's new eligibility. More information on E-Verify can be found at: http://www.dhs.gov/ximgtn/programs/gc_1185221678150.shtm.

Further, the law makes it a discriminatory practice for any employer to discharge a US citizen or legal permanent resident employee while retaining an illegal alien hired in a comparable position if the employer reasonably knows that the retained employee was undocumented. In addition, the law would require county sheriffs to make a reasonable effort to determine the citizenship status of a person confined to a county jail for a period of time and to verify the immigration status of a confined foreign national. The law also requires that, subject to the availability of funding, the state establish a Fraudulent Documents Identification Unit by the attorney general for the primary purpose of investigating, apprehending and prosecuting individuals who participate in the sale or distribution of fraudulent identification documents created and prepared for individuals who are unlawfully residing within the state. The law also makes it a crime to conceal, harbor, or shelter aliens from detection for commercial advantage or private financial gain. Utah's immigration law can be found at: http://le.utah.gov/-2008/bills/sbillenr/sb0081.pdf .

Vermont. --No employer may knowingly employ any alien unless the employer determines that the alien possesses the required certificate issued under the federal law or regulations issued thereunder, or has authorization from the immigration services. (Title 21, Chapter 5, Subchapter 4, Section 444a.) http://www.leg.state.vt.us/statutes/fullsection.cfm?Title=21&Chapter=005&Section=00444a

Virginia. --It is unlawful for any employer or any person acting as an agent for an employer, or any person who, for a fee, refers an alien who cannot provide documents indicating that he or she is legally eligible for employment in the U.S. for employment to an employer, or an officer, agent or representative of a labor organization to knowingly employ, continue to employ, or refer for employment any alien who cannot provide documents indicating that he or she is legally eligible for employment in the U.S. Permits issued by the U.S. Department of Justice authorizing an alien to work in the U.S. are considered proof of eligibility for employment. (Title 40.1, Chapter 1, Section 40.1-11.1.) http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+40.1-11.1

A bill (H.B. 1298) explicitly requiring that all public contracts for goods and services in Virginia include language that contractors do not and will not knowingly employ an undocumented worker as defined in the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) during the performance of the contract was signed by Governor Timothy M. Kaine (D) on March 13, 2008. The bill, sponsored by Representative Jeffrey M. Frederick (R-Woodbridge), was significantly cut down from the original version he proposed. While the bill no longer reaches subcontractors, the language must be written into every contract entered into with the state and contractors who violate US immigration law breach their contracts with the state. The bill can be found at: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=081&typ=bil&val=hb926.

Both laws take effect on July 1, 2008.

West Virginia SB 70 - Chapter 144  (Signed 4/3/07) Makes it unlawful for any employer to knowingly employ an unauthorized worker. Employers are required to verify a prospective employee's legal status or authorization to work. The law also provides for penalties for employing unauthorized workers, including fines, jail sentences and revocation of business licenses.  Effective June 16, 2007. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/

Published on Friday, August 31, 2007 (updated 06/28/2016)

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