No E-Verify System with Government Shut Down



HR departments around the country have not had access to E-Verify throughout the government shutdown.

With the government shut down still not totally resolved, many resources that were once available for businesses to utilize in their various departments are on hold. One specific resource that is affecting a large breadth of companies is the E-verify system. E-verify is a database provided by the government that allows employer’s to check employee’s I-9’s (the right to work in the US.) Some 400,000 employers are using this system, and are now unable to verify their employee’s eligibility to work within the US. This system was even mandated for 20 states with the rest strongly encouraging it.  HR.BLR has the full story.

Without the ability to use the system, the mandate for using E-verify has been lifted. This means that companies can hire employee’s that otherwise would not have been considered eligible to work in the US. However, the requirement to fill out the I-9 form as a means of checking eligibility to work has not been put on hold. Employers are still required to have their employee’s fill out an I-9 form before working. Filling out the I-9 form is critical for companies to ensure their employees are legally allowed to work in the US. The law still mandates that an I-9 form be turned in within three days of being hired.

With the E-verify system temporarily shut down, there is cause for concern that both employers and employees could abuse the system. Employers could look past the authenticity of a potential employee’s I-9 form and hire illegally at a cheaper rate than otherwise possible. In vice-versa, employees could forge their I-9 forms and work in positions that they otherwise would not have been able to obtain. This seems to be the trend with the government shut down, now that many checks and balances are not currently in place. Hopefully, the lack of E-verifying will not equate to any major hiring abuses.

Now that the shutdown has almost been resolved, this possible issue begs the question of whether or not E-verify if the most reliable system if it can be turned on and off at the whim of politicians.

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