By: Bruce E Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

In Texas, E-Verify has been extended to being mandatory for the hire of employees at all “sexually oriented” businesses, effective September 1, 2021. The intent of the law is really not the expansion of E-Verify; rather, it is intended to crack down on human traffickers who prey upon young Texas women. This law is only applicable to new hires on or after September 1, 2021.

A “sexually oriented” business must “register and participate in the E-Verify program to verify information of all employees and independent contractors.” The inclusion of independent contractors is contradictory to the federal law which states independent contractors are not employees, thus, on Form I-9 or E-Verify may be required.

A sexually oriented business is defined as “a sex parlor, nude studio, modeling studio, love parlor, adult bookstore, adult movie theater, adult video arcade, adult movie arcade, adult video store, adult motel, or other commercial enterprise the primary business of which is the offering of a service or the selling, renting, or exhibiting of devices or any other items intended to provide sexual stimulation or sexual gratification to the customer.” See Section 243.002, Local Government Code.

As for enforcement, the law states “The [Texas ABC] commission, the attorney general, or a local law enforcement agency may inspect a record maintained under this section and request proof of E-Verify program verification if there is good reason to believe that an individual younger than 21 years of age is employed or has been employed or has entered into a contract for the performance of work or the provision of a service with the sexually oriented business within the five years preceding the date of the inspection.” Thus, enforcement will not be through audits, rather through investigations.

If you want to know more information on issues related to employer immigration compliance, I recommend you read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book I co-authored with Greg Siskind, and available at