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PRINTER'S NO. 1201
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
877
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY GALLOWAY, HILL-EVANS, MACKENZIE, MILLARD,
T. DAVIS, PASHINSKI, BARRAR, MENTZER, BERNSTINE, SAYLOR,
DEASY, PETRARCA, NEILSON, DeLUCA, GOODMAN AND FARRY,
APRIL 5, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND INDUSTRY, APRIL 5, 2019
AN ACT
Requiring construction industry employers to verify the Social
Security numbers of all employees for purposes of wage
reporting and employment eligibility; providing for powers
and duties of the Department of Labor and Industry;
prescribing sanctions; and establishing good faith immunity
under certain circumstances.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Construction
Industry Employment Verification Act.
Section 2. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly states otherwise:
"Construction." Erection, reconstruction, demolition,
alteration, modification, custom fabrication, building,
assembling, site preparation and repair work or maintenance work
done on any real property or premises under contract, whether or
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not the work is for a public body or paid for from public funds.
"Construction industry employer." An individual,
partnership, association, joint stock company, corporation,
business trust or any other business entity, person or group of
persons that acts directly or indirectly to employ persons to
provide or perform services in the construction industry for
remuneration.
"Employee." An individual for whom a construction industry
employer is required by law to file a Form W-2 with the Internal
Revenue Service.
"EVP." The E-Verify Program operated by the Department of
Homeland Security.
"INA." The Immigration and Nationality Act (66 Stat. 163, 8
U.S.C. § 1101 et seq.).
"NVS." The Social Security Number Verification Service
operated by the Social Security Administration.
"Secretary." The Secretary of Labor and Industry of the
Commonwealth.
"Willful." Action or conduct undertaken intentionally or
with reckless disregard for or deliberate ignorance of the
requirements and obligations established by this act.
Section 3. Verification.
(a) Duty of construction industry employers.--
(1) Except as set forth in paragraph (2), a construction
industry employer shall participate in NVS and EVP and shall
do the following, subject to the requirements of Federal law
governing the use of NVS and EVP:
(i) within 60 days following the effective date of
this section, use NVS to verify, for wage reporting
purposes, the Social Security numbers of the construction
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industry employer's employees in existence on the
effective date of this section; and
(ii) within three days following the first day of
employment of a new employee, use EVP to verify, for
employment eligibility purposes, the Social Security
number of the new employee.
(2) This subsection does not apply to an employee who is
authorized to work under Federal law in the United States
without a Social Security number.
(b) Verification statements.--A construction industry
employer shall submit a verification statement annually to the
Department of Revenue with the construction industry employer's
State income tax return. The statement shall be on a form
prescribed by the Department of Revenue and shall comply with
the following requirements:
(1) The statement shall represent that the construction
industry employer has verified the Social Security numbers of
the construction industry employer's employees through NVS or
EVP, as appropriate, as required by subsection (a).
(2) The statement shall include a certification that the
information in the statement is true and correct and that the
person signing the statement understands that the submission
of false or misleading information in connection with the
verification shall subject the person and the construction
industry employer to sanctions provided by law.
(3) The statement shall be signed by a representative of
the construction industry employer who has sufficient
knowledge and authority to make the representation and
certifications contained in the statement.
(c) Discrimination prohibited.--In conducting the Social
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Security number verification required by this section, a
construction industry employer shall not discriminate against an
employee on the basis of race, ethnicity, color or national
origin.
Section 4. Violations.
It is a violation of this act for a construction industry
employer to:
(1) Employ an employee whose Social Security number has
not been verified by NVS or EVP as required by this act
except during a period of time in which the employer is
awaiting resolution by the Federal Government of a wage
reporting or employment eligibility issue or dispute
regarding the employee.
(2) Make a false statement or misrepresentation in a
verification statement required by this act.
Section 5. Enforcement and sanctions.
(a) General rule.--The secretary shall enforce the
provisions of this act.
(b) Investigation of complaints.--The secretary shall
accept, review and investigate in a timely manner any credible
complaint that a construction industry employer has violated a
provision of this act.
(c) Audits.--To ensure compliance with the requirements of
this act, the secretary shall conduct complaint-based and random
audits of construction industry employers in this Commonwealth.
In conducting an audit, the secretary shall utilize NVS and EVP
to verify the Social Security numbers for wage reporting
purposes and employment eligibility of employees in accordance
with Federal law governing the use of those systems.
(d) Sanctions.--The following sanctions shall apply to a
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violation of section 274A of the INA (8 U.S.C. § 1324a) or of
this act:
(1) A construction industry employer that violates
section 274A of the INA or engages in the violation described
in section 4(1) may be required, at the discretion of the
secretary, to forfeit all licenses or certifications issued
by the Commonwealth that authorize the construction industry
employer to conduct business in this Commonwealth, including
corporate articles and franchises, for a period of up to 90
days for a first violation and for a period of up to three
years for a subsequent violation.
(2) A construction industry employer that willfully
violates section 274A of the INA or willfully engages in the
violation described in section 4(1) shall be required to
forfeit all licenses or certifications issued by the
Commonwealth that authorize the construction industry
employer to conduct business in this Commonwealth, including
corporate articles and franchises, for a period of three
years.
(3) The Office of Attorney General shall have the same
authority to revoke corporate articles and franchises under
this act as it has under 15 Pa.C.S. § 503 (relating to
actions to revoke corporate franchises).
(e) Notice and appeal.--Actions taken under subsection (d)
shall be subject to the notice, appeal and other provisions of 2
Pa.C.S. (relating to administrative law and procedure).
Section 6. Protection from retaliation.
(a) General rule.--It shall be unlawful for a construction
industry employer to discharge, threaten or otherwise retaliate
or discriminate against an employee regarding compensation or
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other terms or conditions of employment because the employee:
(1) participates in an investigation, hearing or inquiry
held by the secretary or any other governmental authority
under this act; or
(2) reports or makes a complaint regarding the violation
of this act to a construction industry employer or
governmental authority.
(b) Actions.--
(1) An employee who suffers retaliation or
discrimination in violation of this section may bring an
action in a court of common pleas in accordance with
established civil procedures of this Commonwealth.
(2) The action must be brought within three years from
the date the employee knew of the retaliation or
discrimination.
(c) Relief.--If an employee prevails in an action commenced
under this section, the employee shall be entitled to the
following relief:
(1) Reinstatement of the employee, if applicable.
(2) Restitution equal to three times the amount of the
employee's wages and fringe benefits calculated from the date
of the retaliation or discrimination.
(3) Reasonable attorney fees and costs of the action.
(4) Any other legal and equitable relief as the court
deems appropriate.
Section 7. Good faith immunity.
A construction industry employer that relies in good faith on
NVS and EVP procedures to verify the Social Security number of
employees shall be immune from the sanctions authorized under
section 5 and shall have no liability to an individual who is
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not hired or who is discharged from employment in the event that
incorrect information has been provided to the construction
industry employer.
Section 8. Effective date.
This act shall take effect in 180 days.
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