House Legislation to Focus on Construction E-Verify

Kristi Pronovost Merit Shop Spokesman Blog

By Brent Sailhamer, Director of Government Affairs, ABC Keystone

This week, Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh) circulated a co-sponsorship memo to his House colleagues for legislation that would require the use of E-verify for construction industry employees. Mackenzie, who maintained a B rating with ABC in the 2017-2018 legislation session and sits on the House Labor & Industry Committee, outlined his plan for the Construction Industry Employee Verification Act in the memo.

There are many unscrupulous employers who hire individuals not authorized to work in the U.S. for their construction teams,” the memo reads.  “These employers and their unfair business practices hurt workers by driving down wages, create an unlevel playing field for other employers to compete against, and deprive government of revenue that would be used to fund programs like unemployment compensation.”

The memo goes on to state that penalties for failure to comply would equate to revocation of licenses required to business, such as corporate charters and business licenses.

Similar legislation has been introduced in other states, however, many claims have been made that the legislation unfairly targets the construction industry when more glaring issues regarding unscrupulous hiring practices are rampant in hospitality and retail industries.

Once the legislation is formally introduced in a bill form, it will be referred to an appropriate committee by the Speaker of the House for potential action.

April 4, 2019