Two Articles: eVerify & Arbitration Agreements

There is good news and bad news regarding eVerify.

Good News:

The President’s signature on the continuing resolution reopening the government brought eVerify back to life.  eVerify is now back up and running and accepting employee information.

Bad News:

eVerify employers now have a limited time to enter the employee information for every person they hired in the last thirty-five days.  Employers should expect slow/sluggish performance from the eVerify system and longer than normal response times when contacting eVerify for assistance while the backlog of data and requests for service are processed. With another “possible” partial shutdown on the horizon, eVerify may be interrupted again.

What it Means for Employers:

The partial government shutdown did not affect an Employer’s obligation to create an I-9 Employment Eligibility form.  All employers (eVerify and non) are required by law to create an I-9 form after employment is offered and no later than the employee’s third day on the job.  Employers should store I-9 forms in a filing system separate from other personnel records.

U.S. Supreme Court Provides More Guidance on Arbitration Agreements

In the last two weeks, the nation’s high court issued two opinions concerning an important issue relating to enforceability of arbitration agreements, namely, who decides the “gateway” issue of whether or not a particular dispute is arbitrable—a court or an arbitrator?  According to the Court, if the arbitration agreement contains a provision expressly delegating issues of arbitrability to the arbitrator (rather than a court), that provision governs, and a court does not have authority to decide the issue.  There is a limited exception to this principle, however.  If the dispute involves transportation workers who are involved in interstate commerce, the issue of arbitrability must be decided by a court because the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) expressly states that it does not apply to contracts of employment for such workers.  Thus, even if an arbitration agreement with an interstate transportation worker includes a clause delegating arbitrability issues to an arbitrator, a court still must decide the issue of arbitrability in that limited context.

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