Due to the federal government shutdown that began today, October 1, 2013, the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system is currently unavailable for employers to use to verify the legal work status of newly hired workers, according to an alert on the E-Verify page of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. E-Verify is an Internet-based system that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. More information about E-Verify is available at http://www.dhs.gov/e-verify.
The alert informs employers that while the E-Verify system is unavailable due to a government shutdown,they will not be able to access their E-Verify accounts and, as a result, will be unable to: Enroll any company in E-Verify; Verify employment eligibility; View or take action on any case; Add, delete or edit any User ID; Reset passwords; Edit company information; Terminate an account; Run reports, and; View ‘Essential Resources.’ (NOTE: All essential resources may be found by visiting http://www.dhs.gov/e-verify.)
In addition, the alert also informs employers that as a result of the E-Verify Customer Support and related services being closed: Employees will be unable to resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs); Telephone and e-mail support will be unavailable; Employers may send e-mails but E-Verify cannot respond until they reopen; E-Verify webinars and training sessions are cancelled, and; E-Verify Self Check will not be available.
Since the unavailability of E-Verify may have a significant impact on a company’s operations, the alert also states that the following policies have been implemented to minimize the burden on both employers and employees:
- The ‘three-day rule’ for E-Verify cases is suspended for cases affected by the shutdown. They will provide additional guidance once they reopen. This does NOT affect the Form I-9 requirement—employers must still complete the Form I-9 no later than the third business day after an employee starts work for pay.
- The time period during which employees may resolve TNCs will be extended. Days the federal government is closed will not count towards the eight federal government workdays the employee has to go to SSA or contact DHS. They will provide additional time once they reopen.
- For federal contractors complying with the federal contractor rule, please contact the contracting officer to inquire about extending deadlines.
- Employers may not take any adverse action against an employee because of an E-Verify interim case status, including while the employee’s case is in an extended interim case status due to a federal government shutdown (consult the E-Verify User Manual for more information on interim case statuses).
The alert about the current unavailability of E-Verify is at https://e-verify.uscis.gov/emp/vislogin.aspx?JS=YES.