Check out the current Compliance News Flash with blurbs about:

  • The continuing partial government shutdown;
  • E-Verify (still shutdown);
  • The Federal Trade Commission (also shutdown);
  • Government background investigations and the NBIB (not shutdown);
  • The California Consumer Protection Act; and
  • A recent merger in the background screening industry.

In honor of MLK Day tomorrow:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Martin Luther King

Happy New Year!

Here are two editions of the AGG Compliance News Flash covering the following topics:

  • E-Verify;
  • California’s Consumer Privacy Act;
  • Ban the box and salary history restrictions in the hiring process;
  • Investigation by the Department of Justice into hiring practices;
  • The Fair Credit Reporting Act and who qualifies as an “employee”; and
  • News about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Click here for the 12/21 edition of the Compliance News Flash.

Click here for the 1/4 edition of the Compliance News Flash.

It took a few days, but the E-Verify system is down due to the partial government shutdown which started at 12:01 am Saturday the 22nd of December.  One of the agencies affected by the partial government shutdown is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is the agency that runs the E-Verify program.  E-Verify and E-Verify services are offline and will remain so until the government is again funded.  This partial shutdown may continue into the new year so employers should prepare themselves by keeping track off all new hires during the shutdown so that cases can be created once the system is back online.

What does it mean that E-Verify is offline?  Employers and E-Verify Employer Agents will not be able to create cases in E-Verify. VERY IMPORTANT! Just because E-Verify is offline, it does not mean that employers do not need to complete the employment eligibility verification form (the “Form I-9”).  The requirement to complete and maintain the Form I-9 for all new hires within three business days of hire is a separate requirement and employers must continue to complete the Form I-9 for all new hires as well as re-verify the work authorization of employees whose authorization is expiring.  The lapse in government funding does not affect the Form I-9 requirement.

Back to E-Verify.  DHS issued this statement about the “three-day rule” and pending Tentative Non-Confirmations (TNCs) and how to handle such during the partial government shutdown.

From DHS: “We understand that E-Verify’s unavailability may have a significant impact on employer operations. To minimize the burden on both employers and employees, the following policies have been implemented:

  • The “three-day rule” for creating E-Verify cases is suspended for cases affected by the unavailability of E-Verify.
  • The time period during which employees may resolve TNCs will be extended. The number of days E-Verify is not available will not count toward the days the employee has to begin the process of resolving their TNCs….”

Today U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services rolled out an updated website for E-Verify.

E-Verify is a web-based system that allows enrolled employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. E-Verify employers verify the identity and employment eligibility of newly hired employees by electronically matching information provided by employees on the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, against records available to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

For a list of upcoming enhancements to E-Verify, click here.

Monitoring and Compliance (M&C) enforcement actions have increased since FY2014, when total compliance activity was 87,934 actions.  This number was the total number of Compliance Actions (e.g., emails, telephone calls, desk reviews and site visits) by M&C as well as Interagency Actions.  The same Compliance Activities for FY2017 stood at 130,006. The role of M&C is to protect E-Verify against system misuse through monitoring and compliance activities, such as identifying and resolving compliance issues, notifying employers of noncompliant behaviors, and offering compliance assistance in the form of emails, phone calls, desk reviews, and site visits.

Due to the federal government shutdown E-Verify — the electronic employment eligibility verification program that compliments the Form I-9 — is unavailable.  This means, among other things, that employers cannot access their E-Verify account during this time and until the federal government reopens. This will affect employers ability to enroll in E-Verify, create cases and address Tentative Non-Confirmations (TNCs).  The shutdown could end as early as today if Congress passes another stop-gap funding measure funding the government through February 8, 2018.

In the meantime, employers must still complete the Form I-9 for all new hires.  However, if you participate in E-Verify you will not be able to create a case and must do so when E-Verify is again available.  Read more about how to address the three business day window (which employers will not meet) for creating cases in E-Verify as a result of the federal government shutdown by clicking here.

On Monday, June 5 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm EST I will conduct a free webinar on “Workplace Investigations by the Department of Homeland Security – Is Your Restaurant Ready?”  The webinar is sponsored by the Georgia Restaurant Association.  Much, if not all, of what I’ll be discussing regarding employers compliance with immigration laws during the hiring process relates to all employers and isn’t limited to restaurants.  During the webinar I will discuss the following topics:

  • Factors leading to a workplace investigation by DHS – ICE
  • How to prepare for a workplace investigation by ICE
  • How to respond to a Notice of Inspection
  • What happens during an ICE audit
  • The role of the Department of Justice in workplace investigations
  • Collateral consequences of workplace investigations

Click here to register.

On February 28 at 3:00 pm EST, I (check out my bio) will be speaking on a free webinar hosted by Hire Image called, Hiring and Maintaining a Legal Workforce: What’s New in 2017.

I will be talking about what’s new in 2017 relative to hiring and maintaining a legal workforce. I will cover immigration compliance-related topics such as the President’s Executive Orders—and proposed orders—and the impact they could have on American employers and your workforce.  I will also talk about mandatory E-Verify, increased raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), increased civil penalties for noncompliance with the Form I-9 requirements, and what to expect and how to prepare your organization for an ICE worksite enforcement operation.

This webinar is approved for 1 HR (General) recertification credit hour toward California, GPHR, HRBP, HRMP, PHR and SPHR through HRCI, and is valid for 1 PDC for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

Click here to register.