With the Government Shutdown still in effect from December 22, 2018, the E-Verify program has also ceased operations. Employers that have an active license with E-Verify will not be able to create new E-Verify cases to confirm an employee’s work eligibility. Normally, per Form I-9 regulations, an employer must verify an employee’s work authorization in the United States within three days of hire. In light of the recent shutdown, E-Verify has issued temporary policies so that employers do not become noncompliant:
- The “three-day rule” for creating E-Verify cases is suspended for cases affected by the unavailability of E-Verify.
- The time period during which employees may resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations (“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.
- We 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 (/employers/federal-contractors/timeframes-for-enrollment-and-use).
Although there is a temporary halt in operations for E-Verify, employers will be expected to resume normal processing as soon as the Government Shutdown ends and funding is available to E-Verify again. Therefore, it is recommended that employers keep track of any new hires that are onboarded during the Shutdown. Then, employers should create new cases with E-Verify as soon as the program is available again. Employers should also still be following normal Form I-9 protocols when onboarding new hires by having the employee complete Section 1 of Form I-9 by the first day of hire, and the employer completing Section 2 of the Form I-9 within three days of hire. When it comes to TNCs that occurred prior to the shutdown, employers must follow steps E-Verify will provide once the Shutdown ends. Pertaining to Federal Contractors with a federal acquisition regulation E-Verify clause, Contractors should work with his or her government contracting officer to determine next steps.