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Sustainable Society:  A society that balances the environment, other life forms, and human interactions over an indefinite time period.

 

 

 

 

 


 

PROPOSED MODEL STATE LEGISLATION*
(Change "STATE" to your state.)
September 1, 2005

Fair & Legally Eligible Employment Act of 2005


Long Title:
A Bill to Promote Public Safety, Economic Fairness, and Non-Discriminatory Employment Practices by Assisting Employers in the Use of the Federal Web Basic Pilot Program, Administered under the Department of Homeland Security's Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program.


Summary:

The Fair and Legally Eligible Employment Act (FLEE) makes it easier for employers to take advantage of the voluntary employability verification technology the federal government has made available under the Department of Homeland Security's Web Basic Pilot (BP) program, which is administered by the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program.

By adopting federal employability standards, FLEE promotes economic fairness, helps safeguard workers against unlawful discrimination, and provides legal protections to employers.

By easing the process of utilizing the service, the state encourages employers to comply with relevant hiring and tax laws and reduces the paperwork load on businesses.

Section 1:

(a) This bill shall establish in state the “Fair & Legally Eligible Employment Act” (FLEE).

(b) FLEE authorizes the state to act as the Designated Agent through which employers in STATE may take advantage of the federal Web Basic Pilot (BP) program.

(c) FLEE assigns the role of Program Administrator to the Director of the STATE Department of AGENCY.

Section 2: Definitions

(a)  As used in this act,

(1) Web Basic Pilot program means the program created under section 401(b) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), authorized by the Basic Pilot Program Extension and Expansion Act of 2003 (Pub. Law 108-156), and administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)'s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program.

(2) Designated Agent means the State of STATE, which acts in compliance with established USCIS guidelines on behalf of those employers in the state choosing to participate in the federal BP program.

(3) Program Adminstrator means the Director of the STATE Department of AGENCY, who shall designate such other personnel, users, and administrators as may be necessary to enable the State to fulfill, with the highest possible level of service to the employers and the people of the State, the function of Designated Agent.

(4) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) means a signed agreement between the relevant parties that sets forth the responsibilities of the Designated Agent, the USCIS and the Social Security Administration (SSA) in accordance with USCIS rules.

(5) Relief Memorandum of Understanding (RMOU) means a signed agreement between an employer electing to participate in the FLEE program, the State acting as its Designated Agent, the USCIS, and the SSA setting forth the responsibilities of all parties.

Section 3: General Provisions

3.1 State Government as Employer

(a) All agencies of the state of STATE are herewith required to participate in the FLEE program.

(b) The Department of AGENCY shall act as the Program Administrator for the Designated Agent and for all agencies described in the preceding subsection.

(c) No agency of the state may contract for services from private firms, or hire private enterprises, that does not prove within 30 calendar days of the enactment of this act full participation in the FLEE program.

3.2 Assistance to Private Employers

(a) Business License Applicants

(1) Any employer applying for a license to do business in the State of STATE after the effective date established in §7(a) of this Act shall be considered to have given its consent to have the STATE Department of AGENCY enroll the employer in the federal BP program and act as its Designated Agent to conduct employee verification activities on its behalf.

(2) A business license applicant described in subsection (1) may choose not to participate in the BP program by indicating its desire to opt out of the program in its business license application, a space for such option to be indicated on the business license application form with a clear and concise explanation of the program's components and emphasizing the program's benefits.

(b) Current Employers

(1) Any employer already licensed to do business in STATE NAME may choose to have the Department of AGENCY enroll the employer in the federal BP program and act as its Designated Agent to conduct employee verification activities on its behalf. The Department of AGENCY shall be required to notify all presently licensed employers at the time of enactment of this Act of the availability of the program by sending such employers notification by mail no later than 30 calendar days after the effective date as provided for in §7(a).

(2) A second mailing shall be sent within 60 days of the postage date of the notification mailing in §3.2(b)(1) (See at FILE, < http://www.fileus.org/library/laws/FLEE.php#3.2" >) to all employers not responding to the initial mailing within 30 days.

(3) Thereafter, non-participating employers shall be notified of the availability of the FLEE service, which shall be accompanied by a clear and concise definition of the program,

(A) at least once semi-annually

(B) via insert in already an scheduled mailing, or, in the event no regularly scheduled mailing is executed, by post card, presorted bulk mail.

(c) Termination

(1) Any private employer choosing to participate in the FLEE program may, at any time, terminate its participation in the program by indicating such on a signed written form, submitted to the Program Administrator, that it no longer wishes to participate in the program.

(2) A private employer shall be considered a non-participant in the FLEE program if the employer has made no attempt to verify the employment eligibility of a new hire within 10 business days from the starting date of the new hire, the termination date to be the starting date.

3.3 Program Administration

The Program Administrator shall

(a) register each state government employer and participating private employer in the federal BP program;

(b) act as a Designated Agent for each state government employer and participating private employer;

(c) advise each employer of its responsibilities under the Program, including:

(1) All Form I-9 requirements and other federal procedural requirements of the BP program;

(2) Time limitations and deadlines associated with the BP program;

(3) Limitations and prohibitions on verification of employees under the BP program;

(4) Any such regulations as may be promulgated from time to time by Congress or other controlling federal authority;

(d)  make available online or by telephone order a termination form on which the legal consequences of termination are explained and which

(1) requires a physical signature.

(2) goes into effect upon receipt by the Dept of agency

(3) when completed, made a part of the permanent state archives and searchable by the general public online.

(e)  create, with an emphasis on clarity and brevity, a free weekly opt-in email digest for employers, and available to the general public, containing

(1)  information concerning employment law and issues pertaining to the Form I-9 policy and procedures as released by the Public Affairs Office of the USCIS,

(2)  information contained in the "Employer Bulletins" issued by the Office of Business Liaison, the USCIS office responsible for publishing information valuable to employers,

(3)  citations and links to original source of information,

(4)  information pertinent to the purpose of this Act that, in the judgment of the program administrator, may be useful to employers.

(e)  Establish procedures to monitor, investigate, and prosecute clear violations of federal and state anti-discrimination laws; take proactive measures to prevent activity inconsistent with the BP program, or with the provisions of this Act;

(f)  Make such regulations as necessary to discharge its responsibilities under this section.

Section 3.4: Public Notice

(a) Any employer electing to take part in the FLEE program shall display in a prominent place clearly visible to prospective employees Basic Pilot Notices as determined by the Department of Homeland Security.

(b) Upon an employer's enrollment in the FLEE program, the Program Administrator shall mail the enrollee four decals indicating participation in the program carrying words and insignia congruent with national standards and usage and including the words "Active Participant | Fair and Legally Eligible Employment Program | State Dept of Agency" which the employer may post in a manner of its choosing.

(1)  Any employer that terminates its participation in the program under §3.2(c)(1) must remove immediately, and may not display thenceforth, the state FLEE decal.

(2)  Any employer deemed terminated under §3.2(c)(2) may not display the state FLEE decal.

(3)  Any employer

Section 3.5: Liability Protection

(a) No employer or representative of any employer participating in the FLEE program shall be civilly or criminally liable under any law for the good faith discharge of an individual following final confirmation that the individual is not work authorized.

(b) No employer participating in the FLEE program shall be civilly liable for knowingly creating a public or private nuisance, or for knowingly creating dangerous or unsafe conditions, when such liability rests substantially on the employment of an individual determined to be ineligible for employment.

(c) In the event of an investigation into its hiring practices, an active FLEE participating employer will receive from the state a presumption of innocence regarding relevant state law congruent with the presumption of non-violation of sanctions laws granted by the DHS in the particular instance.

Section 3.6: Funding

(a) Any costs incurred by the State in the funding of the FLEE program shall be

(1) weighed against any increase in State revenue that may be attributable to FLEE due to a reduction in the "off the books" economy;

(2) in the event costs exceed gains notwithstanding §6(a)(1), the costs shall be offset by a corresponding increase in the fee for obtaining a business license, to be determined by the agency issuing such licenses.

Section 3.7: Effective Dates

(a) This Act shall take effect on effective date and shall remain in effect until the scheduled end of the BP program, November, 2008, or unless deauthorized by an act of the state legislature.

(b) In the event the federal BP program is extended beyond November, 2008, the provisions of this Act shall likewise be extended and remain in effect without interruption.

(c) A review of the program to determine whether there are identifiable steps available to make it a more valuable tool for the state's employers, or make it more beneficial to the general public, or whether the program is, in fact, a valuable tool for the state's employers, and/or a benefit to the general public, or, in the event the federal BP program ends without extension in November, 2008, whether components of the program may be salvaged and continued under a new program that would serve the goals expressed in this subsection, may be undertaken

(1) by the office of the Governor of the State,

(2) whose office shall conduct the review in a manner of its choosing, and at the expense of General Funds

(3) upon written request on or before the first day of May, 2008, for such a review from

(A) the Program Administrator, or

(B) any member of the state legislature

(4) the findings of which review shall be presented to the legislature, copies disseminated simultaneously to

(A) each state legislator, within the first week of the next new legislative session occurring after the submission of the request for review

(B) the state delegation to the Congress of the United States

(C) the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service


MFS note: Excerpts from the U.S. legal code referring to hiring illegal aliens is available here.

______
Used with permission of FILE, Friends of Immigration Law Enforcement.
*  Friends of Immigration Law Enforcement.
Washington, DC 20003.
See original at < http://www.fileus.org/library/laws/FLEE.php >.

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