Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 12:12 PM

E-Verify laws in NC are unfair for our largest employers and may discourage growth of our small businesses

In his veto message of House Bill 786 - RECLAIM NC, the Governor states that his objection is, in part, to the widening loophole for verifying legal presence.  I agree with the Governor's intent - which is to protect jobs in North Carolina for North Carolinians. 

But here's the problem:

Existing law in NC only requires employers with 25 or more employees to use E-Verify.  According to the 2010 US Census 65% of the businesses in our state have 19 or fewer employees.  The next category of data the Census compiled is businesses with 20-99 employees so I can't tell you what percentage of our businesses (20-24 employees in addition to the 65% I just mentioned) are completely exempt from E-Verify and continue to use the I-9 requirements to hire new workers.  So it appears that the effect of the law is to keep our largest employers from using available and reliable labor for difficult-to-fill and seasonal jobs while the overwhelming majority of our businesses are free from that additional restriction.

And yes, it is still a violation of federal law to employ workers who are not here legally.  And yes, alien labor is a federal issue.  But Congress is not addressing this problem - or any other problem - this week and we still can't find enough workers.

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