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H.R. 1147 (114th): 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 Feb 27, 2015.

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.

Establishes a phased-in EEVS participation deadline (six months to two years) for different categories of employers, including agricultural employers.

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.

Requires an employer who uses the photo matching tool as part of the E-Verify system to match the photo tool photograph to both the photograph on the identity or employment eligibility document provided by the employee and to the face of the employee submitting the document.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish a program under which parents or legal guardians may suspend or limit the use of the social security account number or other identifying information of a minor for the purposes of the employment eligibility verification system, and (2) establish an Identity Authentication Employment Eligibility Verification pilot program to provide employers with identity authentication and employment verification of enrolled new employees.