WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security announced that E-Verify, the online system that businesses use to check workers' eligibility to work in the United States, will not be available during the government shutdown, the National Restaurant Association reported. More than 470,000 employers currently use the system.

The program is voluntary, however Arizona, Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina have made it mandatory for most employers, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. Due to the shutdown, E-Verify users will not be able to:

• Verify employment eligibility
• View or take action on any case
• Enroll any company in E-Verify
• Edit company information
• Reset passwords
• Add, delete or edit user IDs
• Terminate accounts
• Run reports
• View ‘Essential Resources,’ although the information from the essential resources section may be found at www.dhs.gov/e-verify.

DHS also has suspended its requirement that users must create E-Verify cases no later than the third business day after an employee starts working for pay. However, employers must continue to complete I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, forms no later than the third day after an employee begins work, according to the association.

Also, employers will have more time to resolve a tentative non-confirmation, or TNC, which is issued when a worker's employment eligibility can’t be immediately confirmed by E-Verify. But during the shutdown, employers are prohibited from taking action against an employee based on their verification status, according to the NRA.