The Legal Arizona Workers Act, as amended, prohibits businesses from knowingly or intentionally hiring an “unauthorized alien” after December 31, 2007. Under the statute, an “unauthorized alien” is defined as “an alien who does not have the legal right or authorization under federal law to work in the United States.” The law also requires employers in Arizona to use the “E-Verify” system (a free Web-based service offered by the federal Department of Homeland Security) to verify the employment authorization of all new employees hired after December 31, 2007.
This state law allows a County Attorney to bring a civil suit to suspend or revoke business licenses if a business intentionally or knowingly hired an “unauthorized alien” worker after December 31, 2007.
For more information regarding the E-Very System, or to register, please visit:
To view the Arizona statutes, please visit Title 23, Chapter 2 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.
Below are frequently asked questions that may assist
you in ensuring your compliance with this program.
Does the Legal Arizona Workers Act apply to workers who are paid in cash?
Does the Legal Arizona Workers Act apply to an employer who hires an independent contractor?
When an employer uses a contract, subcontract or other independent contractor agreement to obtain the labor of an alien in Arizona, the employer may not knowingly or intentionally contract with an unauthorized alien or with a person who employs or contracts with an unauthorized alien to perform the labor.
I am an employer. What must I do to comply with the Legal Arizona Workers Act?
Under this state law, after December 31, 2007, you may not hire any unauthorized alien as an employee or independent contractor. Also, you must use the federal government's E-Verify program to check the employment eligibility of every new employee hired after December 31, 2007.
Are all Arizona employers required to use the E-Verify program?
Yes. Arizona law requires all employers to use E-Verify for new workers hired after December 31, 2007. In addition, after September 30, 2008, an employer will not be eligible to receive an economic development incentive or a government contract or subcontract unless the employer uses the E-Verify program.
Where can I learn about the “E-Verify” program?
You can learn about the program, including how to register and how to use the system, by calling E-Verify's toll-free number (888-464-4218) or by going to its Web site.
What is the advantage of using the E-Verify program?
Again, Arizona law requires all employers to use E-Verify for new workers hired after December 31, 2007. In addition, if an employer is accused of employing an unauthorized alien worker but can prove that the employment eligibility of that employee was verified using the E-Verify program, there will be a “rebuttable presumption” that the employer did not intentionally or knowingly employ an unauthorized alien.
What if I use the federal I-9 process but do not use E-Verify?
Once again, Arizona law requires all employers to use E-Verify for new workers hired after December 31, 2007. An employer that can prove that it has complied in good faith with the I-9 process and other requirements of the federal law found in 8 United States Code section 1324a(b) will have an affirmative defense that the employer did not knowingly or intentionally employ an unauthorized alien.
What will happen if I try to comply with the I-9 process but make an innocent mistake?
An employer that makes a good faith effort to comply is considered to have complied, notwithstanding an isolated, sporadic or accidental technical or procedural failure.