Employers use the E-Verify system, run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to check that newly hired employees are legally eligible to work in the United States.
Georgia and other states require that certain businesses use the system to screen new hires. However, a funding dispute in Congress that shut down the federal government has also taken offline the E-Verify database.
Mike Giles, the president of the Georgia Poultry Federation, told The Times of Gainesville that employees are still required to fill out federal I-9 forms that document a worker’s eligibility. Employers will use the database to verify the information from those forms once the database is working again.
“Homeland Security has suspended the rule requiring new hires to be processed through E-Verify within three days of hiring,” Giles said.
Bill Moats, the human resources director for Hall County, said the shutdown has not affected the county’s ability to hire.
“The only effect it has had so far is that it’s creating a backlog of verifications that will have to be completed once E-Verify is available,” he said.