By Mark J. Leavy and Marc Furman
On July 5, 2012, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed into law the Public Works Employment Verification Act. The law will take effect January 1, 2013.
The law requires contractors and subcontractors on “public work” construction projects, i.e., those subject to the prevailing wage rate laws, to use the federal government’s E-Verify website to confirm that their employees are authorized to work in the United States. This law adds yet another level of administrative compliance for contractors performing public work.
The penalty for failure to utilize the E-Verify system as required under the law is severe. A contractor or subcontractor can be debarred for between 30 days to 3 years depending upon whether the offense is found to be “willful” and if there is a prior history of offenses.
The Pennsylvania Department of General Services shall enforce this law, and is charged with investigating “any credible complaint” of a violation of this law. The Department of General Services is also empowered to conduct random audits to ensure compliance with the law.