When the state law E-Verify kicked in for N.C. small businesses in July, thousands of employers became required to verify that new hires are eligible to work in the U.S.
Under the state law, every business with more than 25 full-time employees are required to run new employees' information through a federal system known as E-Verify. An employer enters an employee's name, Social Security number, address and date of birth into a system that matches it with other federal data. Businesses that don't comply are fined $10,000 by the N.C. Department of Labor.
But the U.S. government shutdown that started Tuesday morning could place small businesses required to use E-Verify at risk of violating the law. That's according to Gregg Thompson, North Carolina state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, the national advocacy association.
"The shutdown of E-Verify is problematic for small businesses that are required to participate in the program," Thompson said in a statement released Wednesday.
"In addition, the government shutdown, combined with the country's massive debt and rollout of a deeply-flawed health-care law, exacerbates the uncertainty that small-business owners have been feeling for too long. There's no doubt that Washington is making the small-business community nervous, and small-business owners aren't going to grow or create jobs if they're nervous."
NFIB/North Carolina has over 8,000 member businesses, according to the group.