Get ready, folks. The real-world impacts of the government shutdown are starting to come in and none of it is pretty. I’m not talking about the World War II veterans who breached the barricades of their memorial on The Mall here in Washington. Although shuttered national parks certainly counts as a nettlesome inconvenience. I’m talking about people whose livelihoods hang in the balance.
I received this emphatic email this afternoon from a reader.
I went to apply for an $8/hour job today at a temp agency and they said I could not work because the shutdown effects E-verify. PLS tell someone when you write or visit MSNBC again. Help!!!!
One trip to the E-Verify website confirmed the missive. “U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States,” as the site explains. But this is difficult if the I-9 forms that prospective employees and employers have to fill out cannot be checked out. And while the E-Verify site says that the “three-day rule” for form completion is suspended, said forms must still be completed “no later than the third business day after an employee starts work for pay.” But, as my emailer seems to have experienced, what employer concerned about running afoul of the law in this period of suspended animation is going to take a risk?
So, if you think the travesty of governance on Capitol Hill only body slams more than 800,000 federal workers think again. But with 7.3 percent unemployment in August, this isn’t what the economy or folks looking for work needs right now. On Friday, we’re supposed to get the jobs numbers for September, but thanks to the shutdown….
Follow Jonathan Capehart on Twitter.