E-VERIFY WEBSITE IS DOWN: GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN & I-9 REQUIREMENTS
The Federal Government has been “shut down” since December 22, 2018. As a result, the Federal Government’s electronic employment verification system—E-Verify—is unavailable. What does this mean for employers who use E-Verify?
Employers may voluntarily opt to use the E-Verify website to ensure a new-hire is eligible for employment; however, once enrolled in E-Verify, employers are required to upload the new employee’s information to perform a check within three days of hiring the employee. The E-Verify website cross-checks new-hire data from their Form I-9 against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security records to confirm employment eligibility.
DHS POLICY CHANGES DURING THE SHUTDOWN
During the shutdown, employers will not be able to access their E-Verify accounts, and employees will not be able to input information to resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs).
Because of the associated compliance requirements and to minimize the impact on employers and employees, the DHS has implemented new policies for E-Verify while services are unavailable. You may view their entire release at the following website: https://www.e-verify.gov/e-verify-and-e-verify-services-are-unavailable.
These policies include the following:
- “The ‘three-day rule” for creating E-Verify cases is suspended for cases affected by the availability of E-Verify.”
- “The time period during which employees may resolve TNCs will be extended. The number of days E-Verify is not available will not count toward the days the employee has to begin the process of resolving their TNCs.”
- “[DHS] will provide additional guidance regarding ‘three-day rule’ and time period to resolve TNCs deadlines once operations resume.”
- “Employers may not take 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.”
- “Federal contractors with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause should contact their contracting officer to inquire about extending federal contractor deadlines.”
WHAT TO DO IN THE MEANTIME
Employers are still responsible for completing a Form I-9 with each new employee regardless of whether the E-Verify system is up or not. Employers that use E-Verify will want to attach some documentation to the employee’s Form I-9, indicating the government shutdown is the reason E-Verify was not processed within three days of hire. In addition, employers that use E-Verify will need to process any new hires through the E-Verify system once it is again operational. At that time, if the E-Verify system prompts the employer to provide an explanation of why the request is being submitted after the three-day window, the employer should enter the “other” option and type in “Federal Government Shutdown.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information or assistance, please contact our Human Resources team at 210–775–6082, toll-free at 1–888–757–2104, or [email protected].