Shutdown short-circuits EVerify for employers
One of the many tentacles of the federal government shutdown has entangled employers who have to verify that employees they hire are documented workers.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has suspended the online system known as EVerify, which is the primary way that employers locally and across the country weed out applicants who are undocumented workers. The federal agency has an alert on its website — www.dhs.gov/e-verify — about the suspension, as well as an online link informing employers what they should do until the shutdown ends.
The Archdale-Trinity Chamber of Commerce this week forwarded a message to its 220 members alerting them about the suspension of EVerify.
“It was a proactive step on our part to inform our members, especially with the shutdown. I hadn’t thought about that type of service being interrupted,” said chamber President Beverly Nelson.
The N.C. Retail Merchants Association is providing advice for employers about how to handle confirming the status of new workers in the interim.
“While no formal guidance has been issued about expectations once the system resumes, employers should be prepared to initiate cases on all employees who were impacted as soon as the system is available,” the association advises.
Employers should keep a list of workers whose status can’t be verified during the shutdown.
Businesses and other employers won’t be able to access their EVerify account during the shutdown, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
“The ‘three-day rule’ for EVerify cases is suspended for cases affected by the shutdown. We’ll provide additional guidance once we reopen,” according to the department. “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.”
Employers may not take any “adverse action” against an employee because of an E-Verify interim case status while shutdown is in place, the department advises employers.
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