By Roger Tsai
The early October shutdown of the federal government left many employers unable to verify employment eligibility through the government’s E-Verify system. Employees were unable to resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs) and deadlines were missed. What do you do now that the government has reopened? How do you catch up and remain compliant with your E-Verify obligations? Here are tips based on information provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- November 5th deadline for creating E-Verify case for employees hired during the shutdown. If you hired employees during the government shutdown, you need to create an E-Verify case for each such employee no later than November 5, 2013. If the system asks why the case is late because it was not entered within three days of the hire, select “Other” from the drop-down list and enter “federal government shutdown.”
- Initiate referral process now for employees who decided to contest TNC during shutdown. If an employee decided to contest his or her TNC while the E-Verify system was unavailable, initiate the referral process in E-Verify now.
- Add 12 business days for employees to resolve TNC. If an employee had a TNC referred during the period of September 17 – 30, 2013, the deadline for the employee to contact the Social Security Administration or the Department of Homeland Security to resolve their case fell during the government shutdown. These employees may add 12 federal business days to the date printed on the “Referral Letter” or “Referral Date Confirmation” to resolve their cases.
- Start a new case for any Final Nonconfirmations (FNCs) or No Shows that resulted because of the shutdown. If an employee received a FNC or DHS No Show because of the government shutdown, you will need to close the case and select “The employee continues to work for the employer after receiving a Final Nonconfirmation (or No Show) result.” Then enter a new case in E-Verify for that employee so that the employee has an opportunity to contest and resolve the TNC that led to the FNC result.
- I-9 obligation not affected by the government shutdown. Because I-9 forms do not require government input, I-9 requirements were not affected by the government shutdown. You should have properly completed and retained a Form I-9 for every employee, even those hired during the shutdown.
Employees may be confused about what to do with a TNC or FNC that was due to or affected by the government shutdown. Refer them to the Employee section of the E-Verify website or to E-Verify Customer Support. Remember that employers may not take any adverse action against an employee because of a TNC and should not take any adverse action due to a FNC or No Show result caused by the shutdown. By catching up with E-Verify obligations now, your employment eligibility compliance procedures should get back to normal within a few weeks.
Disclaimer:This article is designed to provide general information on pertinent legal topics. The statements made are provided for educational purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship between you and Holland & Hart LLP. If you have specific questions as to the application of the law to your activities, you should seek the advice of your legal counsel.