Excerpted from a Greenberg Traurig LLP blog by Martha J. Schoonover and Lou Metsu
As the federal government re-opened on January 25, E-Verify has resumed operations. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has provided guidance regarding the resumption of E-Verify operations.
Although all E-Verify features and services are now available, including the ability to resolve a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC), employers may experience longer-than-usual processing times as the agency works through the large volume of cases that accumulated during the government shutdown. Employers who participate in E-Verify must create an E-Verify case by February 11, for each employee hired while E-Verify was not available.
Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification
Although Form I-9 support representatives were unavailable during the government shutdown, and E-Verify services were disrupted, employers were still required to complete and retain Form I-9s for every person hired for employment in the U.S. during that time, as long as the person works for wages or other remuneration.
Creating Cases: Employers who participate in E-Verify must create an E-Verify case by February 11, for each employee hired while E-Verify was not available. You must use the hire date from the employee’s Form I-9 when creating the E-Verify case. If the case creation date is more than three days following the date the employee began working for pay, select “other” from the drop-down list, and enter “E-Verify Not Available” as the specific reason.
Tentative Nonconfirmations: If your employee received a TNC and notified you of his or her intention to contest it by February 11, you must revise the date by which your employee must contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) or DHS to begin resolving the TNC. For TNC cases that were referred after E-Verify resumed operations, do not add days to the time your employee has to contact either SSA or DHS. If your employee decided to contest the TNC when E-Verify was unavailable, you should now refer to the employee’s case and follow the TNC process.
Federal Contractor Deadlines: Any calendar day during which E-Verify was unavailable due to the government shutdown should not count towards the federal contractor deadlines found in the Employment Eligibility Verification Federal Acquisition Regulation. Please contact your contracting officer for further information on federal contractor responsibilities.