Tennessee E-Verify Law



In 2011 the Tennessee Legislature enacted the Tennessee Lawful Employment Law Act (Tenn. E-Verify Act), Tenn. Code Ann. §50-1-701, et. seq., which created document verification and retention requirements for all Tennessee employers with six or more employees.  Similar to federal law the Tenn. E-Verify Act requires employers to verify the legal work status of employees through either the federal E-Verify system or by using a list of acceptable documents (driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, etc.).  This legislative session, the Tennessee General Assembly amended the Tenn. E-Verify Act requiring private employers with 50 or more employees to enroll in the E-Verify program.  The amended Tennessee E-Verify law will become effective January 1, 2017.


The amended law also authorizes the Tennessee Department of Labor (TDOL) to pursue employers that knowingly violate the Tenn. E-Verify Act.  Employers who knowingly fail to enroll in the E-Verify program will be subject to a $500 penalty. An employer who fails to enroll after having received notice from the TDOL will be subject to an additional $500 a day penalty. 


The amendment also reduced the time employers have to remedy a finding on non-compliance from 60 days to 45 days.