GatorStart and E-Verify
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All federal contractors, including higher education institutions who receive federal contracts that include the E-Verify clause, are required to verify all new hires and existing employees on federal contracts via E-Verify. E-Verify checks the information provided on an employee’s I-9 form against records contained in DHS and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases.
- A UF employee is typically only verified once via E-Verify even if moving employment positions from one UF department to another. If there is a break in service of one day or more, then the employee will need to be verified before starting in the new position. Active UF employees who are receiving additional payments do not need to be verified.
- It is unlawful to use E-Verify as a screening tool prior to offering a position to an applicant. Verification is only performed on a new hire who has accepted an offer of employment and completed the Form I-9.
- Section 1 of the Form I-9 must be completed on or before the employee’s first day of employment, and the remainder of the Form I-9 must be completed within three business days of the employee’s start date. If the Form I-9 is not completed within the three-day time frame, federal statute requires the employee be terminated from employment with the University of Florida.
The Form I-9 must be submitted to E-Verify within three days of the employee’s start date.
GatorStart is the University of Florida’s electronic onboarding system for new employees. It is designed to help speed up the hire paperwork process required by federal and state government, UF Payroll & Tax Services and HR Services.
How GatorStart Works
GatorStart is triggered when a hire ePAF is initiated for all new employees with the exception of fellowships, courtesy appointments, foreign nationals and employees with an active record on the day prior to the new employee’s start date. Below is an instruction guide on additional actions hiring departments can take when using GatorStart.
Electronic Version Submission
To initiate the E-verify process electronically, use GatorStart for U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
U.S. Citizens, Foreign Nationals, And Permanent Residents
- The new hire information must be entered into ePAF so the onboarding packet, GatorStart, can be initiated for U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
- Once GatorStart has been completed, the department will complete the Form I-9 Section 2 in I9 Management and submit the case to E-Verify within three days of the employee’s start date.
- For foreign nationals who are using a Temp ID ensure that instead of entering the number you check the box that says “applied for SSN.” Failure to do so will cause the E-Verify case to go into error and it will then have to be resubmitted.
Paper Version Submission
Distance hires must complete a paper version of Form I-9 that must be submitted to E-verify using I-9 Management.
- The completed Form I-9 must be uploaded directly into I9 Management having Sections 1 and 2 manually entered and then sent to E-verify within three days of the employee’s start date.
- ALERT! Do not E-Verify the electronic version if the employee completed GatorStart.
Approximately 95% of E-Verify inquiries are returned as “employment authorized”, and no further action is required. However, when an inquiry results in “Tentative Non-Confirmation,” which may require the employee to contact the appropriate agency – the Social Security Administration or the Department of Homeland Security – to resolve the non-confirmation in employment authorization.
- Verify that all information is correctly entered in I9 Management to avoid a “tentative non-confirmation.”
- When an employee receives a tentative non-confirmation, an email is automatically sent to the employee’s email as listed on Section 1 of the Form I-9.
- Human Resource Services will contact both the department and the employee, as needed, to discuss the steps to resolve the issues within the federal guidelines. The employee should abstain from contacting any outside agencies until speaking with Human Resource Services.
- During this time this employee may not be terminated or prohibited from working. If an employee does not contest or does not contact the appropriate agency, the employee will be terminated in accordance with E-Verify rules and regulations.
Once a final disposition is issued by USCIS, authorized or not-authorized, Employment Operations & Records will contact both the employee and the hiring department. Please note that incorrect entries, especially Social Security numbers, may result in an increase of “tentative non-confirmation” cases.
Late E-Verify Reasons
If a hiring department submits Section 2 of the Form I-9 outside the three-day window for a new or rehired employee, the department will see the E-Verify Late Reason screen in I-9 Management. E-Verify requires this step and monitors the responses in this section. The department must select a late hire reason from the Reason E-Verify Case Created Late drop-down menu. The drop-down menu options are:
- Operational or technical issue encountered.*
- Waited for SSN to be issued.
- Audit Revealed that New Hire Was Not Run.*
- Federal Contractor verifying an existing employee.*
- Employee presented an acceptable receipt as a Section 2 document.
- Other (200-character limit; information for E-Verify not UF; be concise in response, ex. Hire was entered late. Documents were received late.)
*Please contact Employment Operations & Records at 352-273-1079 or email@example.com prior to selecting these options from the drop-down menu.
|Who is covered under E-Verify?
|All University of Florida paid employees including faculty, staff (TEAMS, USPS, OPS), graduate assistants, additional payment hires, and student assistants. Only Courtesy, Fellowship, and ISCR appointments are exempt.|
|How often are they verified?
|Only new hires and re-hires will undergo an E-Verify check.|
|How do I “E-Verify” check an employee?
|Once the employee has submitted the GatorStart onboarding packet, the department will enter the Form I-9 Section 2 in I9 Management and send the case the E-Verify.
For foreign nationals who are using a Temp ID ensure that instead of entering the number you check the box that says “applied for SSN.” Failure to do so will cause the E-Verify case to go into error and it will then have to be resubmitted.
|Can I enter the information before the employee starts?
|Yes. You can enter the information into ePAF once the Form I-9 has been signed. It must be entered no later than three business days after the employee’s start date.|
|Do I have to verify an employee if he or she has been E-Verify checked by another department?
|An employee who moves from one department to another department will not need to be checked via E-Verify again unless there is a one or more workday gap when moving from one department to another.|
|Do faculty and staff who are on leave of absence need to be verified again when return from leave?
|No. E-Verify is only done on new hires or rehires.
|Do faculty and staff on short work break need to be verified again prior to return?
|No. E-Verify is only done on new hire or rehires.|
|What is tentative non-confirmation?
|This indicates that the employee information submitted to USCIS does not match against USCIS’s records. When this response is received from USCIS, a member from Employment Operations & Records, working with the hiring department, will review the information with the employee.|
|What do I do if there is a tentative non-confirmation?||In short, nothing. If an employee receives a tentative non-confirmation, an email is automatically sent to the employee’s email as listed on Section 1 of the Form I-9. Human Resource Services will contact both the department and the employee, as needed, to discuss the steps to resolve the issues within the federal guidelines.|