Effective October 1, 2009, Nebraska Legislative Bill 403 requires every contract between a public employer and public contractor to contain provisions requiring the public contractor to register with E-Verify, and determine the work eligibility status of new employees physically performing services within the State of Nebraska. It is our understanding that these new rules do not apply to contracts awarded prior to the October 1, 2009 active date.
The Nebraska Department of Labor website provides valuable information to employers, including a sample of the verbiage that should be included in new contracts; tax incentive guidance; and instructions for contracts with independent contractors. There are specific guidelines which apply when a public employer will be entering into a new contract with an individual or sole proprietorship:
1) The Contractor must complete the United States Citizenship Attestation Form, acknowledging that lawful presence in the United States is required for the contract.
2) If the Contractor indicates on such attestation form that they are a qualified alien, the Contractor agrees to provide the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) documentation required to verify the Contractor’s lawful presence in the United States.
3) The Contractor may be disqualified or the contract terminated if such lawful presence cannot be verified.
The intent of this legislation is to broadly ensure that persons who are awarded public benefits, jobs, and contracts in Nebraska are lawfully present in the United States. LB 403 defines public benefits as “any grant, contract, loan, professional license, commercial license, welfare benefit, health payment or financial assistance benefit, disability benefit, public or assisted housing benefit, postsecondary education benefit involving direct payment of financial assistance, food assistance benefit, or unemployment benefit or any other similar benefit provided by or for which payments or assistance are provided to an individual, a household, or a family eligibility unit by an agency of the United States, the State of Nebraska, or a political subdivision of the State of Nebraska.”
Finally, the new legislation seemingly encourages all private employers to use the E-Verify system. The Nebraska Department of Labor is required to make E-Verify information available to all employers, and it must prepare a report on the use of E-Verify for the state legislature no later than December 1, 2011.