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H.R. 2885 (112th): Legal Workforce Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Sep 12, 2011.

Legal Workforce Act - Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to direct the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish an employment eligibility verification system (EEVS), patterned after the E-Verify system. (Eliminates the current paper-based I-9 system.)

Requires an employer to attest, during the verification period and under penalty of perjury, that the employer has verified that an individual is not an unauthorized alien by: (1) obtaining and recording the individual's social security account number, and (2) examining specified documents that establish such individual's identity and employment authorization.

Requires an individual to attest that he or she is a U.S. citizen or national, a lawful permanent resident, or an alien authorized to work in the United States.

Subjects an individual who knowingly uses the social security number or other identification of another person to fine and/or imprisonment.

Establishes a phased-in EEVS participation deadline (six months to two years) for different categories of employers, including agricultural employers. (Exempts from verification requirements seasonal agricultural workers who return to work for a previous employer.)

Requires reverification of the following workers who have not been verified under E-verify: (1) federal, state, or local government employees; (2) certain employees who require a federal security clearance; and (3) certain employees assigned to work in the United States under a federal or state contract.

Authorizes an employer to voluntarily reverify employees. (Requires any such reverification to be applied to all individuals so employed).

Includes employment recruitment and referral within the scope of EEVS. Requires EEVS use by union halls and nonprofit employment agencies.

Requires EEVS to provide employers with: (1) temporary verification or nonverification within 3 working days of an inquiry; and (2) in the case of nonverification, a final verification or nonverification within 10 working days.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) an employer utilizing a good faith defense, (2) preemption of state or local law, (3) employer penalties, and (4) worker remedies for EEVS errors.

Provides for the establishment of programs to: (1) block the use of misused social security numbers, and (2) suspend or limit the use of social security numbers of victims of identity fraud.