Late yesterday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced that the final rule requiring certain federal contractors to enroll in and use the E-Verify system (“the Rule”) has again been delayed.
The Rule, which requires federal contractors to check the employment authorization of new hires and of employees assigned to federal contracts through government databases, will now be in effect no earlier than May 21, 2009.
This is the second delay in implementation. On January 9, the Chamber announced a delay until February 20, 2009 so that briefing could take place in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Maryland requesting that the Rule be declared invalid and that the court enjoin it from going into effect.
Now, the litigants in that suit, including the Chamber and various business groups, have agreed with the Government to extend the applicability date to May 21, 2009 and ask the court to stay the proceedings to allow President Barack Obama’s Administration an opportunity to review the Rule.
This delay comes on the heels of a January 20, 2009 memorandum issued by Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff, to the heads of all executive departments and agencies governing issuance and possible suspension of regulations. The memorandum stated that agencies should “[c]onsider extending for 60 days the effective date of regulations that have been published in the Federal Register but not yet taken effect.” The Chamber requested the Office of Management and Budget to apply the memorandum to the Rule and made the same request to government’s counsel.
It is expected that the government will place a notice in Friday’s Federal Register to notify the public of the delayed implementation date.
Background on the E-Verify system and the Chamber’s lawsuit can be obtained here
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