Government Shutdown Closes E-Verify Website

Retailers can still use paper documents to hire individuals.
January 09, 2019

WASHINGTON – The partial government shutdown, heading into its third week, has shuttered the federal E-Verify website, Nation’s Restaurant News reports. As of press time, there had been no movement on the funding impasse between President Donald Trump and Congress.

The federal E-Verify electronic verification employment system website had been shut down. The system, which verifies the info on a worker’s Form I-9 with Social Security Administration records, is run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which had been partially hobbled by the lack of a funding bill.

If retailers were “using E-Verify before the shutdown, they can go back to the existing rules for hiring documents that the majority of employers in the U.S. still use,” said David T. Denney of the Dallas-based Denney Law Group.

Employees still should fill out the Form I-9/Employment Eligibility Verification, which has a list of which documents can be submitted to determine employment eligibility. Workers can give a combination of eligibility and identity documents too. “Remember, I-9 documents must be kept separate and apart from employee files and must be retained for three years after the later of three years from hire or one year from the end of employment,” Denney pointed out.

Homeland Security indicated the three-day rule for creating E-Verify cases has been suspended during the shutdown, but retailers should know the time limits in place to file documents once E-Verify service starts again. For more about E-Verify, read “When ICE Knocks” from the April 2018 issue of NACS Magazine.