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E-Verify Brings Few Early Hassles, But Concerns Remain

Tennessean (01/29/12) Duane Marsteller

Tennessee businesses say the new state law requiring all private employers with 500 or more employees must check each new hire’s work status has caused few problems so far, but cost and discrimination concerns remain. The companies can check their workers’ identity and authority to work in the U.S. with the federal E-Verify system or by requiring a driver’s license, birth certificate, or other identity-confirming document.

However, some worry the law could have deeper consequences as it gets applied to smaller businesses. Those with 200 to 499 employees must meet the new requirements by July 1, while businesses with six to 249 employees have a year after that to comply. “It makes our job easier, but it is a bit of a hassle in terms of having to be the police force,” says Steven Rollins, president of Nashville Wire Products Manufacturing Co., which employs approximately 550 people. The extra cost is $3 an employee for his company, which hires through temporary firms, he says.