One of the casualties of the partial government shutdown is the Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify program. Employers that participate in E-Verify verify the identity and employment eligibility of newly hired employees by electronically matching information provided by employees on the Form I-9 against records available to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
While E-Verify is unavailable, employers will not be able to access their E-Verify accounts to: create an E-Verify case; view or take action on any case; add, delete or edit any user account; reset passwords; edit company information; terminate accounts; or run reports. Employees will also be unable to resolve E-Verify Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs).
Normally, employers participating in the E-Verify program must create a case in E-Verify no later than the third business day after the employee starts work for pay. Because of the unavailability of E-Verify, the DHS has suspended the “three-day rule” for creating E-Verify cases. DHS has also extended the time period during which employees may resolve TNCs. The number of days E-Verify is not available will not count toward the days the employee has to begin the process of resolving his or her TNC. Once E-Verify operations resume, DHS will provide additional guidance regarding the “three-day rule” and time period to resolve TNCs deadlines. Employers are prohibited from taking adverse action against an employee because the E-Verify case is in an interim case status, including while the employee’s case is in an extended interim case status due to the unavailability of E-Verify. DHS recommends that federal contractors with a Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause contact their contracting officer (assuming the officer is at work) to inquire about extending federal contractor deadlines.
DHS reminds employers that, although E-Verify may be unavailable, employers must still complete Form I-9 no later than the third business day after an employee starts work for pay.