E-Verify Unavailable During Government Shutdown

On October 1, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) announced that E-Verify will be unavailable during the federal government shutdown.

Employers will be unable to access their E-Verify accounts, run new hires, or take any other action in E-Verify as long as the government shutdown continues. Moreover, E-Verify customer support and related services will also be closed.

Given the government shutdown, the DHS has suspended for the duration of the shutdown, the requirement that employers must verify all new hires within three days of hire. Despite E-Verify being unavailable, employers must still complete Form I-9 for all new hires within three days of hire and abide by all obligations with respect to Form I-9. According to DHS, E-Verify should become available once the shutdown is resolved, and employers should run all new hires through E-Verify at that time.

Employees will also be unable to resolve any tentative non-confirmations (“TNCs”) received from E-Verify during the government shutdown. DHS has confirmed that the time period during which employees may resolve TNCs will be extended. The time period in which the federal government is closed will not count towards the eight federal government workdays the employee has to go to the Social Security Administration or contact DHS. DHS will provide additional time once it reopens.

For federal contractors complying with the federal contractor rule, DHS instructs those contractors to contact their contracting officer to inquire about extending deadlines.

Most importantly, DHS has clearly stated that employers may not take any adverse action against an employee because of an E-Verify interim case status due to a federal government shutdown, including while the employee’s case is in an extended interim case status. DHS is advising employers to consult the E-Verify User Manual for more information on interim case statuses.

During the shutdown, employers must continue to employ any employees who have TNCs.

The E-Verify website contains additional information regarding E-Verify and the government shutdown and can be accessed here.

Please feel free to contact the Employment Group with any questions regarding this issue.

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