Galloway introduces bill to expand E-Verify rules to private construction industry

HARRISBURG, May 8 – State Rep. John Galloway, D-Bucks, has introduced legislation that would expand E-Verify requirements first signed into law in 2012 in order to ensure employers verify the legal status of their current and future employees.

House Bill 1340 would require Pennsylvania employers in the private construction industry to verify that current employees are legally permitted to work in the United States through the use of the Social Security Number Verification System (NVS) and verify new hires through the E-Verify Program (EVP), while establishing penalties for those found in violation of this requirement.

“This bill is an important next step towards ensuring private construction industry employers hire only individuals who are authorized to work in this country,” Galloway said. “With some surveys showing about 110,000 unauthorized immigrants in Pennsylvania’s labor force, we must take every step possible to prevent their exploitation and ensure these jobs go to people authorized to work in the United States.”

If passed, Galloway’s bill would subject employers found in violation of these new requirements to non-monetary penalties that affect licensing and debarment for willful violations.

“This legislation is carefully crafted to provide Pennsylvania an effective tool that complies with federal law and builds on the successes we have seen from the use of E-Verify for public works projects,” Galloway said.

H.B. 1340 is currently in the Labor and Industry Committee, where Galloway serves as the Democratic chairman.  

E-Verify is a voluntary federal program which can quickly consult databases to compare Social Security numbers and Department of Homeland Security records to determine if a potential employee is permitted to work in the United States.