Governor repeals Colorado Employment Verification Law

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As of August 10, 2016, Colorado employers will no longer be required to complete the Colorado Affirmation Form or retain certain copies of identity and employment verification documents for newly hired employees.

This is because on June 8, 2016, Governor John Hickenlooper signed Colorado House Bill 16-1114, repealing the majority Section 8-2-122 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, (otherwise known as the 2006 Colorado Employment Verification Law).

Federal law requires all employers to complete Federal Form I-9 for all employees hired on or after November 6, 1986. The Federal I-9 requirements are aimed at ensuring that U.S. employers do not engage in the employment of unauthorized workers.

Under the (soon to be former) Colorado Employment Verification Law, which took effect on January 1, 2007, in addition to Federal Form I-9, all Colorado employers are required to complete a separate Colorado Affirmation Form within 20 days of hire and to retain the identity and/or employment verification documents examined in connection with the completion of Federal Form I-9. The law also requires Colorado employers with any contract for services with any state agency or political subdivision thereof to enroll in the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) E-Verify program or a similar attestation program administered by the State of Colorado.

In drafting the repeal of the Colorado Employment Verification Law, the Colorado legislature recognized that in light of the Federal I-9 requirements, the Colorado Employment Verification law is redundant and does not provide any additional meaningful safeguards against the employment of unauthorized workers.

With the repeal of the Colorado Employment Verification law, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment still retains the right to audit employers to ensure employers have properly completed and retained Form I-9 for each employee. However, Colorado employers will no longer be required to completed the Colorado Affirmation Form or retain photocopies of the identity and employment authorization documents examined in connection with the completion of Form I-9.

Furthermore, Colorado employers with contracts for services with state agencies or political subdivisions thereof will no longer be required to enroll in DHS’ E-Verify Program.

The Colorado Employment Verification Law remains in effect until August 10, 2016. After August 10, 2016, Colorado employers will no longer be required to complete the Colorado Affirmation Form for newly hired employees.

Between June 8, 2016 and August 10, 2016, Colorado employers should continue to complete the Colorado Affirmation Form for newly hired employees. Furthermore, Colorado employers should maintain copies of the properly and timely completed Colorado Affirmation Forms for all current employees who were hired between January 1, 2007 and August 10, 2016.

While E-Verify will no longer be required for Colorado employers with contracts for public services, employers who have already enrolled in E-Verify must continue to use the E-Verify program. Colorado employers not already enrolled in E-Verify, who are interested in the benefits and risks of enrollment in E-Verify should contact Kolko & Associates, P.C. to discuss whether E-Verify is appropriate for their organization.

For more information on the Colorado Affirmation Form, the repeal of the Colorado Employment Verification Law, Federal I-9 Requirements or E-Verify, please contact Kolko & Associates, P.C.

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Kolko & Associates is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, German, and Slovak, and we can arrange for translators in any other language.