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National Restaurant Association - E-Verify unavailable during shutdown

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E-Verify unavailable during shutdown

Restaurant operators who use E-Verify during the hiring process are feeling an immediate impact of the federal government shutdown, as the Department of Homeland Security has announced that the online system, which businesses use to check the eligibility of employees to work in the U.S., will not be available during the shutdown.

This means that, for the time being, E-Verify users won’t be able to perform the following operations in the system:

  • Verify employment eligibility
  • View or take action on any case
  • Enroll any company in E-Verify
  • Edit company information
  • Reset passwords
  • Add, delete or edit user IDs
  • Terminate accounts
  • Run reports
  • View ‘Essential Resources,’ though the information from the essential resources section may be found at www.dhs.gov/e-verify.

The Department of Homeland Security has suspended E-Verify’s “three-day rule,” which states that participating employers must create E-Verify cases no later than the third business day after an employee begins to work for pay. Employers must continue to complete I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, forms no later than the third day after an employee begins work.

Although E-Verify was established as a voluntary national program, six states—Arizona, Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina—have made it mandatory for all or nearly all employers, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. More than 470,000 employers are currently using the system.

DHS has also extended the time period during which an employee may resolve a tentative nonconfirmation, or TNC, which is issued when an employee’s eligibility to work in the United States can’t be immediately confirmed by E-Verify. Normally, an employee has eight business days to resolve the TNC. Days that the federal government is closed won’t count toward those eight days, as federal employees won’t be available to resolve TNCs, DHS said.

Federal contractors complying with the E-Verify federal contractor rule should contact their contracting officer about extending deadlines.

Employers remain prohibited during the shutdown from taking adverse action against an employee based on their verification status.    

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