As furloughed workers returned to their government posts on October 17, following the end of the government shutdown, access to the Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify database also resumed. Although users were reporting slower-than-usual performance, all features and services are operational and available to registered users. The E-Verify home page offers guidance for working through E-Verify issues for employees hired during the government shutdown. Following are some of the more notable pointers:
Creating Cases for Employees Hired During the Shutdown – Employers must create a case for employees hired or otherwise affected by the shutdown by November 5, 2013. Therefore, employers have a little over two weeks to enter information for employees hired between about September 27 and October 16 into E-Verify. If the employer is prompted to provide a reason for entering the information late (i.e., beyond the third day after the employee’s first day of employment), the user should do the following:
- Select “other” from the drop-down list of reasons; and
- Enter: “Federal Government Shutdown.” -
TNC Issues for Employers and Employees – Employees who received a notice of Tentative Nonconfirmation (“TNC”) between September 17 and September 30 and were not able to resolve the issue due to the government shutdown should add 12 federal business days to the date printed on the “Referral Letter” or “Referral Date Confirmation” notice. Federal business days are Monday – Friday, and do not include federal holidays, such as October 14, 2013, Columbus Day.
FNC Issues for Employers and Employees – Employees who received a notice of Final Nonconfirmation (“FNC”)or DHS No-Show as a result of the shutdown (either because they were unable to contact or visit with the appropriate government agency during the shutdown or within 10 federal working days after the shutdown) must contact their employer to request that the employer create a new record in E-Verify. Employers in this situation should do the following:
- Close the initial E-Verify FNC by selecting either “Employee continues to Work for the employer after receiving a Final Nonconfirmation result,” or “The employee continues to work for the employer after receiving a Now Show result”; and
- Enter a new case in E-Verify for that employee.
Federal Contractors – New federal contractors required to enroll in E-Verify during the shutdown should notify the contracting officer that the reason for missing the deadline was because of the government shutdown. Once registered, contractors are asked to follow the above guidelines, subject to their selections in E-Verify, to enter employee data and note the shutdown as a reason for delay when necessary.
No Effect on I-9 Requirements – The guidance reiterates that the Form I-9 requirements were not affected by the government shutdown and that employers must complete and retain a Form I-9 for every person hired to work for pay in the U.S. during the shutdown.