Opinion: Employers Are Impacted by Ongoing Government Shutdown
By Mark Adams
The ripple effects of the government shutdown have started to come to bear on employers.
Specifically, due to the partial government shutdown that began on Dec. 22, 2018, the E-Verify system is not available. According to the E-Verify site, operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), “E-Verify is currently unavailable due to a lapse in government appropriations. While E-Verify is unavailable, employers will not be able to access their E-Verify accounts. We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to serving you once we resume operations. For more information, see E-Verify Unavailable.”
During the shutdown, employers will not be able to enroll in the program; access their E-Verify accounts; create a case; view or take action on any case; add, delete, or edit accounts; reset passwords; edit company information; terminate accounts; or run reports. Workers will not be able to resolve E-Verify Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs) during the shutdown.
In addition, myE-Verify will be unavailable, and employees will not be able to access their myE-Verify accounts.
To minimize the burden on both employers and employees, DHS announced that:
• The three-day rule for creating E-Verify cases is suspended for cases affected by the unavailability of the service;
• 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; and
• Federal contractors with the Federal Acquisition Regulation E-Verify clause should contact their contracting officer to inquire about extending federal contractor deadlines.
Further information about what is and is not available online can be found at www.e-verify.gov/e-verify-and-e-verify-services-are-unavailable.
The shutdown does not affect an employer’s responsibility to verify employment eligibility through the Form I-9. Employers must still complete the 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.
Once the government operations fully resume, DHS will notify employers with additional guidance regarding the ‘three-day rule’ and time period to resolve TNC deadlines once operations resume.
Mark Adams is director of HR Services for the Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast (EANE), an Agawam-based company that provides resources for organizations to maximize employee engagement and retention while minimizing risk.