Pennsylvania’s New Public Works Employment Verification Act

Beginning January 1, 2013, a contractor or a subcontractor on a “public work” project in Pennsylvania must verify to the public body it is contracting with that it has checked the employment eligibility of its newly hired workers.

As a precondition of being awarded a contract after January 1, 2013, or as a precondition of executing a previously awarded contract, the contractor must provide the public body with a form (to be made available via the internet  by the Commonwealth), which verifies that the contractor has complied with the Federal Department of Homeland Security’s on-line employee verification process. 

Subcontractors must provide such a verification form prior to beginning work on the project.  The Act applies to a subcontractor “regardless of its tier,” which  includes a subcontractor, a sub-subcontractor, and so on.   It does not include material suppliers.

Various penalties apply in the event of violations by contractors and subcontractors.  These penalties include debarment from public contracting for defined periods of time, depending on the number of violations, and civil penalties of $250 to $1,000 per violation.

It appears that the scope of projects involved is the same as the scope of projects under the Prevailing Wage Act as the definition of “public body” and “public work” under the new Act are the same as under the Prevailing Wage Act. 


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