Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Government Shutdown Continues

Although the partial shutdown of the United States Government is now entering its fourth week, many agencies are still funded and operational. Other have partial funding and continue to offer vital services as permitted by funding. Departments lacking funds include the Department of Homeland Security, Treasury and Justice to name a few.

The U.S. Department of Labor offices remain open and unaffected by the partial shutdown due to funding already received. This means that the Office of Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is fully functional at this time, audits currently underway will continue to be reviewed and issuance of scheduling letters may continue.

Unlike the OFCCP, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) only has limited availability and such is posted on their homepage. All digital portals are closed and the agency is unable to staff their hotlines. There are no references to the shutdown on the EEO-1 Reporting page, so it is uncertain at this time how or if the government shutdown will affect the processing of 2018 EEO-1 Reports due March 31, 2019.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to list E-Verify on their website as expired or suspended until funds are received or reauthorization is provided by Congress. E-Verify is a free internet-based system that allows businesses and employers to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. While the system is down, employers must still complete a Form I-9 to verify an employee's work authorization within 3 days of beginning work as new submissions or cases cannot be initiated at this time.

Other programs offered by USCIS that continue to be unavailable are the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program, Non-Minister Religious Workers and Conrad 30 Waiver Program for J-1 Medical Doctors.

Source: DOL; USCIS; Department of Homeland Security; EEOC