PODCAST: THE CYA REPORT (Pilot/Show #1, Recruiting Creatives, NLRB, E-Verify, Hyphenated Names)...
This Big HR Mistake Has Your Name On It. Pray It Doesn't End Your Career....

99 Problems: E-Verify Ain't One...

"I got two choices yall pull over the car or
bounce on the double put the pedal to the floor
Now I ain't trying to see no highway chase with jake
Plus I got a few dollars I can fight the case
So I...pull over to the side of the road
And I heard "Son do you know why I'm stopping you for?"

Have you seen the trailers for the Battlefield 3 game?  Your kids have.  Video games now have trailers, Battlefield-3 people.  That's where this thing is going.  

Allow me to digress further.  The music for the trailer was Jay-Z's "99 problems".  It occured to me that you could basically plaster this song over anything in the world that presents a challenge.

Case in point:  I got 99 problems, E-Verify ain't one. More from BusinessWeek:

"Two years ago the Asheville (N.C.) rumor mill lit up with speculation that local flower wholesaler Van Wingerden International was hiring undocumented workers. To ensure that he take on only legal employees, co-owner Bert Lemkes enrolled the $20 million business in E-Verify, a federal program that matches data on new hires, such as Social Security numbers, with government records.

Lemkes says E-Verify has made it harder to find enough workers for his 37 acres of greenhouses, especially during spring growing season, when he employs up to 350 people. Though the U.S. unemployment rate is stalled above 9 percent, business owners such as Lemkes say few native-born workers are willing to do tough jobs, leading employers to hire immigrants. “Those who want to work fail to pass E-Verify, and those that pass fail to work,” he says.

E-Verify can be used only to check immigration status after a worker is hired, not to screen job candidates or check on existing employees. Lemkes says he has had to fire more than 60 recent hires. Although E-Verify’s proponents argue the unemployed will replace the undocumented, Lemkes says that hasn’t happened. “Without comprehensive immigration reform, [verification requirements are] going to kill agriculture,” he says."

E-Verify presents some interesting issues.  We actuallly talked about it on the CYA Report, the Fistful of Talent podcast, and the feedback was united from 3 HR pros on that show working in white collar businesses: We were for it.  But none of us ever recruits migrant-type workers.  As I was browsing through the article from BusinessWeek it hit me.  That guy is going to contract out his workforce.  30 seconds later I read this in the same article:

"Opponents worry that more full-timers will be registered as contract workers by companies seeking to avoid E-Verify, cutting payroll tax revenues. “You bring on E-Verify, that simply pushes more illegal immigrants over to employers who are willing to misclassify them as independent contractors,” says Norm Adams, a Houston insurance broker who helped defeat legislation that would have mandated use of E-Verify in Texas. “The more E-Verify laws we have in this country, the more payroll taxes we’re going to lose.” A 2008 Congressional Budget Office report estimates that requiring E-Verify nationally would cut federal tax revenue by more than $17 billion."

So you gave in (if you had a chance to do it volutarily) and enrolled in E-Verify.  If it doesn't work out, one clear path that people are going to start taking is to contract out their workforce.  Is that legal?  I don't know, but I'm assuming having a business and saying you need temp workers for a period of time and letting someone else chase them is the only way a business like Lemkes' can survive.

Of course, he'll have to pass along that expense to customers.  If he can't do that, he's out of business.

I got 99 problems, E-Verify ain't one.  But at the end of the day, figuring it out (regardless whether it's an issue for you) is probably everyone's problem.



There's always the option of "offering workers a higher wage to attract American talent", but I guess that was never an option


I wish you were right. Maybe if we had a dream act or a plan to address undocumented people in the U.S. but alas no one wants to deal with issues like that.

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