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Legal Update Article

Temporary E-Verify Policies Announced for Delays Due to COVID-19

E-Verify has modified its policies temporarily due to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to ease the burden on employers and employees.

E-Verify is an internet-based system that allows employers to determine the work eligibility of employees by verifying employees’ information against federal databases.

The temporary policies are as follows:

  • Employers must still create cases in E-Verify within three business days from the date of hire.
  • Employers should use the hire date from the employee’s Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification.
  • Delays in E-Verify case creations are documented in the usual way by selecting “Other” from the drop-down list. If the reason for the delay is COVID-19, then employers should enter “COVID-19” as the specific reason for the delay.

In addition, E-Verify will extend the timeframe for resolving Social Security Administration (SSA) Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs) because of SSA Office closures. E-Verify will do the same for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) TNCs, but only when the employee is unable to resolve the issue because of public or private office closures.

Employers are still required to:

  • Notify the employee about the TNC as soon as possible
  • Notify E-Verify of the employee’s decision once the employee has acknowledged their decision as to whether to take action to resolve the issue on the Further Action Notice

Despite E-Verify’s action, there is much else to be resolved, such as:

  • How long will the extensions last?
  • When and how will employees and employers be notified about re-opening of SSA Offices?
  • Will the eight-day rule apply if the DHS call center remains open?

Given the uncertainty, employers should consider not taking any adverse action against an employee while the employee’s E-Verify case is in any sort of interim case status.

Jackson Lewis attorneys will provide updates on new guidance as they become available. Please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney if you have any questions.

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