In June Governor Nikki Haley signed into law amendments to the South Carolina Illegal Immigration and Reform Act. The key change to the law requires all employers, beginning January 1, 2012, to verify the employment status of all new employees by using E-Verify.
E-Verify is an online system run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Employers using E-Verify are required to check the status of a newly hired employee within three business days of the employee’s hire date.
Failure to comply with this new law will result in probation, suspension, or revocation of the employer’s South Carolina business license. Under South Carolina law, all private employers are imputed with a South Carolina employment license, or business license, which permits a private employer to employ a person in the state. There is no action required on the part of the employer to receive the business license, but failure to comply with the South Carolina illegal immigration law could result in revocation of the license and termination of the business’ ability to employee people.
Employers using E-Verify must apply to use the system, agree to its terms, and take an online study course and pass an online test before beginning to use the system. The application and testing process takes about two hours.