Protecting worker rights during government shutdown, one silver-lining: No E-Verify

Due to the federal government shutdown, E-Verify, the electronic employment eligibility program run by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is suspended until funding is restored.  This means that employers will not be able to verify employees’ eligibility to work using E-Verify during this time.

Similarly, any employees who were contesting or resolving Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNC’s) will be unable to do so at this time.  In addition, the period of time to contest TNC’s will be extended and will not count toward the eight (8) federal working days that employees typically have to contest TNC’s.  Federal contractors will also be affected by the suspension of E-Verify and are encouraged to contact their contracting officer regarding any deadlines.

During the shutdown, Employers must continue to abide by their I-9 responsibilities regarding verifying the eligibility to work of new hires.  But, Employers may NOT take adverse action against any employee based on any interim case status issued by the E-Verify program.  Unions and worker advocates should ensure that Employers are not misusing the E-Verify program and that workers are protected from unjust actions, such as lay-offs, terminations or suspensions based on improper use of the E-Verify system during the government shutdown.

For more information on E-Verify, contesting TNC’s and workers’ rights under the E-Verify program, please visit   http://www.unioncounsel.net/developments/immigration/everify/index.html.

By Conchita Lozano-Batista | October 10, 2013

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