- Legal Industry
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Tennessee State Representative Antonio Parkinson said that owners of businesses are on both sides of the Tennessee Lawful employee Act, which will go into effect on Sunday.
Parkinson, as he talked about the new hires, said, “There is mandatory record keeping through either E-verify or just manually keeping the records on hand.”
The law mandates that businesses can only hire American citizens and workers that have proper documentation or face fines. Businesses will now be required to check the status of their new employees through the federal database, E-Verify system, or they can request from their new hires a copy of an I-9 record, such as a birth certificate or a driver’s license, as proof that their employee is legal.
Parkinson believes that the new law is an effort to rid the construction industry of illegal workers. However, he stopped short of saying that the measure was passed to protect jobs in Tennessee.
He said, “If there are people that are here legally, then they should have the ability to find work if work is available.”
Parkinson also said that while businesses say that they can police themselves with their own hiring, in the end, the new measure will not keep people from being dishonest. “There is still nothing stopping people from getting fake ID’s, fake documentation and presenting it,” he said.
On January 1, the law goes into effect for those businesses that have over 500 employees, while for those that only have six or more employees, the law will go into effect for them in 2013.