Federal Shutdown Halts Federal Activities Related to Labor and Employment

Federal Shutdown Halts Federal Activities Related to Labor and Employment

 What's the government shutdown got to do with me? Well, if you are an employer looking to verify the eligibility of a new hire, respond to allegations of discrimination or wrongdoing, or work with federal regulatory agencies on legal compliance, the answer to that question is, "plenty." Below is a list of some of the government functions that will be suspended for the duration of the federal shutdown that are likely to have an effect on the operations of your business.

E-Verify

Until the federal government reopens for business, employers are unable to access their E-Verify account. They will not be able to verify employment eligibility. Nor will employees be able to resolve any outstanding findings on a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC). For the duration of the shutdown, employers must continue to complete the I-9 Form within three days of each new hire. However, the "three-day rule" for E-Verify cases is suspended. Employees will have additional time to resolve TNCs, as days that the federal government is closed will not count towards an employee's allotted 8 days to resolve employment eligibility discrepancies. Employers may not take action against an employee because of that employee's E-Verify interim case status due to the federal government shutdown. For additional information about the E-Verify operations during the shutdown, click here.

EEOC

For the duration of the shutdown, EEOC enforcement activities will cease. While complainants will still be able to file charges in order to preserve their rights, those charges will not be investigated. Mediations will be cancelled; the EEOC will request extensions of time on all hearings in federal court; and staff will not be available to answer any questions or respond to correspondence from the public. For more information about EEOC activities for the duration of the shutdown, click here.

NLRB

The National Relations Review Board has closed all of its operations. For the duration of the shutdown, documents may not be filed electronically. The Board grants extensions of time on all filings for which an extension is permitted by law. For those filings for which no extension of time is legally available the Board construes the phrase "Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday" to encompass any day on which the Agency's offices are closed due to a lack of appropriated funds. Hearings on alleged unfair labor practices will be postponed as well as representation elections and hearings. For more information about the effect of the shutdown on NLRB operations, click here.

Department of Labor

Among the many functions performed by the Department of Labor that will be suspended altogether during the federal government's shutdown of operations the following agencies will cease to operate:

  • Administrative Review Board
  • Employee Compensation Review Board
  • Office of Disability Employment Policy
  • Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
  • Office of Recovery for Auto Workers and Communities
  • Veterans Employment and Training Administration
  • Women's Bureau

Additionally, the following operations will be reduced to a skeleton crew, unable to provide nearly all regular services:

  • Office of Labor Management Standards will reduce staff from 219 to 1;
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will reduce staff from 2235 to 230;
  • Wage and Hour Division will reduce staff from 1829 to 6.

As the duration of the shutdown is unknown it is impossible to say how long these interruptions will endure. We will keep you informed as things develop.

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