Utah Everify Compliance

UFIRE Comparison Study of DHS Everify users and

Businesses Registered on Utah's Verify Site

Half of Utah businesses registered on state website

may not be using Everify.

A recently completed study by UFIRE (Utahns for Immigration Reform and Enforcement) indicates that 60% of the nearly 1,000 companies registered as users of E-Verify on the Utah state verify user website do not appear as registered users on the list of Utah E-Verify employers received from the Department of Homeland Security. See Study Methodology below

The study began when it was noticed that some businesses registered on the state website could not be found on the DHS Everify list obtained posted at ufire.net

There may be several reasons that about 592 of the 995 on the Utah verify list do not agree in the January 2012 study

  • Their out of state or national headquarters may be verifying, or

  • They may be using another entity to do the verification check, or

  • They could be listed under different company names on the two lists.

  • They might be using a different status verification system.

  • OR, they simply haven't signed up yet. 

This study concurs with past studies that show a general lack of compliance with legal employment laws and indicate the need for mandatory use of verification processes, with appropriate penalties and spot checking for actual compliance.

Utah's website, Verify.utah.gov, was created by 2010 legislation as a method for businesses, for a small fee, to sign up as a user of a “status verification system” to insure that all newly hired employees are authorized to be employed.

It has long been federal law that “unauthorized aliens” were not allowed to work in the United States. Utah codified the same restriction in 2010 and required any private employer with 15 or more employees to use verification for hiring, effective July 2010.

Everify is a federal program that allows any employer, at no cost, the ability to quickly check if newly hired employee's submitted information of name, social security number and birth date match and that the employee is actually eligible to work.

The system further has the option to use photo matching of legal workers for even more security. Initial no-matches, such as a recently married woman who had not changed her name with Social Security, can generally be resolved quickly.

UFIRE has posted Utah Everify user lists on its website ufire.net for several years providing free access to anyone who would like to know if a company is protecting Utah jobs and complying with federal and state law.

The Verify.utah.govverify.utah.gov site instructions are as follows:

Utah Documented Employment Registry

A private employer who employs 15 or more people as of July 1, 2010, may not hire a new employee unless the employer is registered with and uses a status verification system such as E-Verify to verify the federal legal working status of any new employee. See full Utah Law - 13-47-201.

Step One - Federal Registration

Visit the federal E-Verify website to create an account and verify your employees.

Step Two - Utah Registration (optional)

  • A private employer may register with Verify Utah certifying that the private employer is in compliance with the Utah Law listed above.

  • A private employer may register with Verify Utah regardless of whether the employer is required to comply with the Utah Law listed above.

  • Registration with Verify Utah expires every two years

Registration then requires:

Under penalty of perjury, I certify that I am in compliance with Utah Law 13-47-201

Verify Utah is hosted by the Department of Commerce. Although posting to the list cite a penalty for perjury when registering the list, Commerce has no enforcement ability, according to a contact by telephone with the Department. However, it was mention that a fraudelent posting could be subject to enhanced penalties if the business was found in violation of the employment law.

Click here for Previous SB 81 Compliance Study, Overview:

In 2009, five months after the effective date of SB 81, which required all public (government) entities, and their contractors, to use Everify, UFIRE performed a study finding that only 12 of 41 Utah School Districts were in compliance.

Emails were sent to all districts, with many responses thankful for the reminder. As of December 2010, only six district were non-compliant and at the start of 2012 only one was not using Everify.

However, four of Utah's 29 counties are still not using E-Verify and only about 70 municipalities are using the required program to ensure proper hiring.

Salt Lake Chamber Members; Overview:

As for other businesses, apparently without enforcement compliance is not overwhelming, the recent list shows a continuing growth but it still has only about 4,180 businesses. Less than half of the 'higher level members' of the “largest and most influential chamber in the State of Utah,” the Salt Lake Chamber, appear on the DHS Everify at UFIRE.net.

Comparing the 100+ members of the “Bronze” Level and above about 35% match to business names on the Everify list.

Proposed Legislation 2012

One of the major shortcomings of the Utah Everify law is the lack of any penalty for not complying with law and no oversight to ensure proper employment verification. While the law states:

Representative Steve Sandstrom isproposing legislation this year (HB477) to add some 'teeth' to the proper employment practices that Everify fosters. Potential action against employers for failing to comply in the form of business license suspension would be available to assist in achieving proper hiring and aiding in the reduction of Utah's 6% unemployment.

 This bill:
             14          .    enacts the Utah Illegal Employment Act, including:
             15              .    defining terms;
             16              .    addressing applicability for independent contractors;
             17              .    prohibiting knowingly or intentionally employing an unauthorized alien and
             18      creating a related complaint process with penalties;
             19              .    providing that an employer is not required to take any action that the employer
             20      believes in good faith would violate federal or state law;
             21              .    requiring employers to participate in e-verify, with exceptions;
             22              .    requiring the attorney general to maintain certain information and to post certain
             23      information on a website; and
             24              .    requiring the attorney general to established the voluntary employer enhanced
             25      compliance program;

Illegal immigration is a costly problem for the state of Utah and the United States. A cost to Utah taxpayers of $453 million was estimated by FAIR in 2010 Everify will aid in attrition through enforcement to reduce these costs.

One great asset to a business in using Everify in addition to obeying the law, protecting jobs and verifying a proper resources is the indemnification against prosecution liability if the program is used.

Grand America Hotel in the midst oftheir investigation of faulty hiring practice decided to join as an Everify user. Earlier would have been better, in many ways.

METHODOLOGY of Comparison Study

After noting the initial discrepancy, first an “auto-match” of the two databases. An auto match was run, Column C is the match report, Column D copies the NUMBER to allow sorting. Initially, of the 995 on Utah Verify, only 215 matched EXACTLY with Everify.

A few errors were noted because of matches for duplicate registrations within the individual databases. e.g.  Allen Precision Machine & Welding Inc. is listed twice on UT Verify, but NOT on Everify, but was counted a match.

Some such as:

Alan Christensen Enterprises

Utah Verify List

Alan J Christensen and Associates, Inc.

Utah Verify List

Alan J. Christensen Enterprises


appear to be duplicated on UT Verify but, as they are slightly different from Everify, they did not show as an Everify match.

A manual review was necessary to determine other duplicates in the list.  Placing a "1" for a duplicate in Col D, would allow sorting and counting.   Scroll to next "white" background name, if same as the everify on the next line, put 1 in Col D

A sample review of the 100 "A's" found 12 additional matches, beyond the 17 auto-matches, therefore out of the 100 listed there were a total of 29 matches.  Extrapolating that data, it could be estimated that about 366 would match out of 995 - or less than 40% seem to be valid.

A line by line comparison found that actually 403 business names matched and 592 of 995 or 59.6% of the Utah Verify business registrants apparently are not using Everify.