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By: Kelly Eisenlohr-Moul
E-Verify is up and running after the government shutdown, leaving many employers questioning how to handle events which occurred during the shutdown. During that period, E-Verify users were unable to access their accounts, verify employment authorization, or address pending tentative non-confirmations. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently published guidelines addressing these and other common questions resulting from the shutdown.
Verification of New Hires: Typically, employers are given only three days from the date of hire to initiate a case in E-Verify. Due to the government shutdown, however, DHS has announced that employers will have until November 5, 2013 to create new E-Verify cases for any employees hired during the shutdown.
If E-Verify software requests an explanation for the delay in initiating a case, DHS has instructed employers to choose the “other” option from the drop-down list and enter “federal government shutdown” in the text field.
Tentative Non-Confirmations (TNCs): DHS also has instructed employers to add twelve (12) federal business days to the date printed on any TNC referral letter generated for employees who received a TNC between September 17, 2013 and September 30, 2013. Employees with TNCs generated during this timeframe will have until the new deadline to resolve their cases with the applicable agency.
In or to assist employees who indicated their desire to contest a TNC during the shutdown period, DHS has instructed employers to initiate the TNC referral process in E-Verify.
Final Non-Confirmations (FNCs): To address the issue of employees who received an FNC or no-show because of the government shutdown, employers are advised to close the case and select one of the following two options in E-Verify:
(1) “The employee continues to work for the employer after receiving a Final Non-Confirmation result,” or
(2) “The employee continues to work for the employer after receiving a No Show result.”
The employer should then enter a new case in E-Verify for that individual employee in order to re-initiate the TNC process, which will allow the employee an opportunity to go back and timely contest the original TNC result that led to a final non-confirmation.
Federal Contractors: DHS has advised federal contractors that missed E-Verify deadlines because of the government shutdown to follow the instructions above for resolving any outstanding E-Verify issues, and to communicate with their contracting officers regarding these instructions and any steps being taken to resolve the missed deadlines