July 14, 2020

Volume X, Number 196

July 13, 2020

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

South Carolina Mandatory E-Verify Law Goes Into Effect

Employers in South Carolina have received a warning from the state’s Department of Labor: check employees’ work-authorization status through the federal government’s E-Verify program or face immediate penalties. The crackdown signals the end of a grace period designed to enable employers to sign up for E-Verify, a free program that compares information entered on an employee’s Form I-9 to U.S. government records, between January and June 2012. Employers are required to process E-Verify queries within three business days of an employee’s date of hire for remuneration.

The requirement that South Carolina-based employers verify workers’ employment eligibility through E-Verify began with the state’s 2008 immigration law and first went into effect in July 2010. Prior to July 1, 2012, employers who were found to be out of compliance received warnings for a first violation. Under the new enforcement scheme, however, a first violation carries a one-year probation requiring businesses to submit quarterly reports to the state’s Department of Labor and a place on the agency’s website for six months. A second violation within three years requires the business to be shut down for between 10 days and 30 days by temporarily suspending its operating licenses. It also ensures that the employer will be permanently featured online. In addition, an agency determination that an employer knowingly hired an illegal immigrant and failed to use E-Verify raises the ante from an automatic, temporary suspension and $1,000 fine to a potential permanent shutdown through the revocation of all business licenses.

Jim Knight, the official tasked with overseeing immigration compliance for South Carolina’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, echoes the mindset behind the state’s new immigration enforcement strategy: “There is no free bite at the apple after July 1.”

©2020 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume II, Number 193


About this Author

Nataliya Binshteyn Dominguez, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Northern Virginia, Immigration Law Attorney

Nataliya Binshteyn Dominguez focuses her practice on global business immigration matters. She advises corporate and individual clients in a variety of employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant cases. She advises corporations on Form I-9 and E-Verify employment verification matters, including compliance audits, due diligence for corporate restructuring, and immigration-related defense in connection with worksite enforcement investigations. Nataliya also conducts Form I-9 and E-Verify trainings and frequently authors articles regarding immigration compliance issues. She...