E-Verify has new safeguard to combat identity theft

On November 18, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the “USCIS”) announced a new E-Verify safeguard that enables USCIS to “lock” a Social Security number that appears to have been misused, protecting it from further misuse in the E-Verify process.

If an employee attempts to use a locked Social Security number, E-Verify will generate a “tentative non-confirmation” status. The employee will then have the opportunity to contest the result at a local Social Security Administration (‘SSA”) field office. If an SSA officer confirms that the employee’s identity matches the number, the non-confirmation will be converted to “employment authorized’” status.

December 9th, 2013|Employment Decisions|

Grace period for E-Verify compliance ends November 5, 2013

Now that E-Verify services are back online, employers must create an E-Verify case for each employee hired during the shutdown (October 1-17, 2013) no later than November 5, 2013. When prompted by the E-Verify system to explain why the case was initiated late (a violation of the three-day E-Verify rule), employers should select “other” from the drop-down menu and enter into the text field “federal government shutdown.” See the USCIS E-Verify instructions page for handling specific situations.

Revamped Form 1-9 makes its debut

On March 8, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the “USCIS”) announced that its newly revised Form I-9 is to be used immediately. Notably, as indicated in the Federal Register, the USCIS granted companies until May 7, 2013 to implement the new form, which purportedly has been designed to minimize completion errors. This 60-day grace period allows employers time to adjust their human resource processes, and modify their software. The USCIS has also updated its “Handbook for Employers – Guidance for Completing the Form I-9” (3.8.13 version) to correspond to the new form, and is holding webinars to educate companies in the form’s usage.

The USCIS noted that employers do not need to complete the new form for employees for whom they already have a proper Form I–9 on file, unless re-verification applies. Unnecessary verification may violate the anti-discrimination provision of section 274B of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1324b, which is enforced by the DOJ’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices.

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