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Government Shutdowns Raise Compliance Challenges

January 30, 2018
 
With one federal government shutdown already over with and another looming in February, employers who rely on the federal government for money or services should brace for possible delays. Take, for example, the E-Verify system that employers use to confirm the work status of employees and job candidates.
 
If you tried to access E-Verify during the shutdown you received a message informing you that the service was not available: 
 
“E-Verify is currently unavailable due to a lapse in DHS (Department of Homeland Security) appropriations.
 
While E-Verify is unavailable, employers will not be able to access their E-Verify accounts. As a result, employers will be unable to:
  • Enroll in E-Verify; Create E-Verify cases; View or take action on any case; Add, delete or edit any user account; Reset passwords; Edit company information; Terminate accounts; Run reports; 
  • All essential resources may be found by visiting www.USCIS.gov/E-Verify  and going to ‘Publications’.
E-Verify Customer Support and related services are closed. As a result:
  • Telephone and e-mail support will be unavailable. You may send e-mail messages, however, we will not respond until we reopen.
  • Employees will be unable to resolve E-Verify Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs).
  • Any E-Verify webinars and training sessions scheduled during the unavailability of E-Verify are cancelled.
  • Self Check and my E-Verify will not be available.
We understand that E-Verify’s unavailability may have a significant impact on employer operations. To minimize the burden on both employers and employees, the following policies have been implemented:
  • The ‘three-day rule’ for E-Verify cases is suspended for cases affected by the unavailability of E-Verify. We will provide additional guidance regarding these time deadlines once we reopen. This does NOT affect Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, requirements—employers must still complete Form I-9 no later than the third business day after an employee starts work for pay, and comply with all other Form I-9 requirements.
  • The time-period during which employees may resolve 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 these time deadlines once we reopen.
  • For federal contractors covered by the federal contractor rule, please contact your contracting officer to inquire about extending federal contractor deadlines.
Employers may not take any 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. (Consult the E-Verify User Manual for more information on interim case statuses).
 
We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to serving you once we resume operations."
 
Employers who rely on certain government services such as E-Verify or receive federal contracts need to be alert to the consequences of government shutdowns. Print out and retain whatever information is included on the Web site to provide you with a justification as to why you were not able to comply with the law and what you must do to comply when the shutdown ends.
 
Please contact the AIM Employer Hotline at 800-470-6277 if you have questions.
 
 
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