“E-Verify”—the U.S. Government’s federal electronic employment eligibility verification service—has “expired” due to a lapse in funding. As a result, the e-Verify site and its services are not functioning and will not be available to participating U.S. employers during the partial shutdown of the federal government that began December 22, 2018.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the federal agency that oversees the program, reported that “information on this website may not be up to date. Transactions submitted via this website might not be processed and we will not be able to respond to inquiries until after appropriations are enacted.” As a result, DHS announced that the website (www.e-verify.gov) will not be actively managed and will not be updated until after funding is restored.
During the shutdown, U.S. 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; or
- Reset passwords, edit company information, terminate accounts, or run reports.
Conversely, workers will not be able to resolve any 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.
As with prior shutdowns, additional guidance regarding the three-day rule and time period to resolve TNC deadlines will be provided once operations resume.
Employers will not be penalized for any delays in creating E-Verify cases. However, the shutdown does not affect an employer’s responsibility to verify employment eligibility. Employers must still complete the Form I-9 no later than the third (3rd) business day after an employee starts work for pay and comply with all other Form I-9 requirements.
As a result of the shutdown and the unavailability of E-Verify, participating employers are warned not to take any adverse action against employees while an E-Verify case remains in an unresolved status. Federal contractors with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)/E-Verify clause should contact their contracting officer to inquire about extending federal contractor deadlines.
January 2, 2019 is the last day of the Republican-controlled 2017-2018 Congress. Democrats take control of the United States House of Representatives, effective January 3, 2019.