By Fredrikson's Immigration Group
As of July 1, 2013, employers participating in E-Verify are required to enter an employee’s email address into E-Verify if that employee voluntarily provided the information in Section 1 of Form I-9. This new data field was added to E-Verify to bring it in line with the new version of the Form I-9, which went into effect in March 2013 and added data fields for employees’ emails and telephone numbers in Section 1.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will use the email address to notify the employee directly if a mismatch occurs between the information the employer entered into E-Verify and DHS and Social Security Administration records. When a mismatch occurs, DHS issues a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) to the employer and now will also send an automatically generated email to the employee.
DHS will contact employees via email in three scenarios:
To inform the employee that a TNC has been issued and instruct the employee to follow up with the employer.
To remind the employee to take action if the employee has chosen to contest the TNC and no action has been taken within four days of that decision.
To recommend that the employee follow up with the Social Security Administration to update their records if a TNC is resolved by work authorization with DHS.
The issuance of a DHS email to the employee does not relieve the employer of any duties it has under the traditional TNC procedure, including notifying the employee that it has received a TNC. The new email system simply adds an extra layer of notification with the hope that employees can take a more proactive role in resolving TNCs.
Along with the increasing focus on I-9 enforcement, E-Verify employers are also facing increasing scrutiny by the E-Verify Monitoring and Compliance Division to ensure compliance with the E-Verify program. DHS has acknowledged that reports of noncompliance with E-Verify or I-9 obligations may also lead to investigations or charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC).
For further assistance with I-9 and related workforce compliance, please contact an attorney in Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.’s Immigration Group.