Government Shutdown Making Employers in States with E-Verify Laws Nervous to Hire New Workers

Employers in states such as Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and North Carolina with mandatory E-Verify usage laws for most or all businesses are nervous about hiring new workers since the electronic employment eligibility verification system became unavailable due to the federal government shutdown that began October 1, 2013, according to a report from The Guardian available at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/04/everify-offline-shutdown-employers-hiring.

The Guardian reports that E-Verify, the federal government’s web-based system for checking whether newly hired workers can legally work in the U.S. used by more than 900,000 workplaces in the country, is offline due to the shutdown “causing chaos for businesses and workers.” While the government indicated E-Verify will be waived until after the shutdown ends, employers in states with mandatory E-Verify usage laws are pausing in their hiring while assessing all “the implications,” the Guardian reports.

An alert on the E-Verify web page of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website tells employers they will not be able to access their E-Verify accounts due to the government shutdown. As a result, employers will be unable to do any of the following tasks while the E-Verify system is unavailable according to the alert available at https://e-verify.uscis.gov/emp/vislogin.aspx?JS=YES:

  • Enroll any company in E-Verify.
  • Verify employment eligibility.
  • View or take action on any case.
  • Add, delete or edit any User ID.
  • Reset passwords.
  • Edit their company information.
  • Terminate an account.
  • Run reports.
  • View ‘Essential Resources.’ (NOTE: All essential resources may be found by visiting http://www.dhs.gov/e-verify.)

In addition, the alert also informs employers that as a result of the E-Verify Customer Support and related services being closed that:

  • Employees will be unable to resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs).
  • Telephone and e-mail support will be unavailable. Employers may send e-mails but E-Verify cannot respond until we reopen.
  • E-Verify webinars and training sessions are cancelled.
  • E-Verify Self Check will not be available.

Since unavailability of E-Verify may have a significant impact on a company’s operations, the alert also states that the following policies have been implemented to minimize the burden on both employers and employees:

  • The ‘three-day rule’ for E-Verify cases is suspended for cases affected by the shutdown. We’ll provide additional guidance once we reopen. This does NOT affect the Form I-9 requirement—employers must still complete the Form I-9 no later than the third business day after an employee starts work for pay.
  • 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 SSA or contact DHS. We will provide additional time once we reopen.
  • For federal contractors complying with the federal contractor rule, please contact your contracting officer to inquire about extending deadlines.
  • 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 (consult the E-Verify User Manual for more information on interim case statuses).

U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. E-Verify is an Internet-based system that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. More information about E-Verify is available at http://www.dhs.gov/e-verify. For more blogs about E-Verify, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/e-verify/.

A Designated E-Verify Employer Agent such as Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) can help businesses comply with E-Verify regulations. To learn more, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.  Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’ – is a nationwide background screening firm accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). For more information, please visit http://www.esrcheck.com or call Toll Free 888.999.4474.

Sources:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/04/everify-offline-shutdown-employers-hiring

https://e-verify.uscis.gov/emp/vislogin.aspx?JS=YES

About Employment Screening Resources® (ESR):

Founded by safe hiring expert Attorney Lester Rosen in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’– provides accurate and actionable information that empowers employers to make informed hiring decisions for the benefit of their organizations, employees, and the public. Founder and CEO Rosen literally wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ and ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®), a distinction held by a small percent of screening firms. Employers choosing ESR know they have selected an agency meeting the highest industry standards. For more information about ESR, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or call Toll Free 888.999.4474.

About ESR News:  The Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at tahearn@esrcheck.com. To subscribe to the ESR News Blog Feed, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/feed/. To subscribe to the complimentary ESRcheck Report monthly newsletter, please visit http://www.esrcheck.com/Newsletter/.