The U.S. Government has shut down due to the inability of Congress to reach an agreement regarding a continuing resolution to fund the U.S. government. While not all operations and functions of the federal government will be shutdown starting today, expect many government agencies to be affected as staff are furloughed. It is unknown how long this shutdown will last and the solution rests with Members of Congress.
Over at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), which administers the electronic employment eligibilityverification program, please note that the E-Verify site is down. Click here to read the announcement by USCIS. This is a direct result of the government shutdown.
Here’s what it means to employers:
- You won’t be able to access your account, which means you cannot verify employment eligibility within the prescribed three business day window of time.
- E-Verify Customer Support is closed and that means employees will be unable to resolve Tentative Non-confirmations (“TNC”) if those were in the process of being resolved.
- E-Verify webinars and training sessions are cancelled.
- E-Verify Self-Check is not available.
What is USCIS saying about how this may impact employers? Here is the policy they are implementing:
- The “three-day rule” for E-Verify cases is suspended for cases affected by the shutdown. HOWEVER, you must still complete the Form I-9 for new hires.
- 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 the Social Security Administration or contact the Department of Homeland Security.
- For federal contractors complying with the federal contractor rule, contact your contracting officer to inquire about extending deadlines (assuming they haven’t been furloughed).
- USCIS is stating that 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.