According to figures from the 2010 Census, the number of Hispanics in Tennessee grew by 134.2 percent to 291,920 over the past decade, and Hispanics now make up 4.6 percent of the state's total population, Fox News Latino reports. To ensure that state businesses hire employees who are legally registered to work in the United States, the Tennessee Department of Labor recently issued a rule that requires employers to utilize the E-Verify background screening system to perform a verified check
. Governor Bill Haslam signed the Under the Lawful Employment Act in June, and as of January 1, companies must verify new employees' legality using the federal online database. The program will be introduced in phases, beginning with companies that have 500 or more workers. By June 2013, businesses with as few as six workers will be required to perform the checks or face fines. Immigration Daily points out that E-Verify is not mandatory. If a business decides not to sign up, it must instead confirm a worker's I-9 information. However, once registered, employers are required to use the database.