E-Verify is an important tool to employment verification. It has not only been the object of state-level legislation, but also at the center of a larger federal attempt at immigration reform. Using and enrolling in the system is required of many employers countrywide, and failure to comply can result in serious penalties, as more than 300 businesses in South Carolina recently found out.
Requirement to use E-Verify started last year
In 2011, South Carolina lawmakers drafted legislation that would require all businesses in the state to verify employee eligibility through E-Verify. The law went into effect in early 2012, but local media reported strict enforcement of the measure did not begin until July 1.
Hoping to gain some insight into how state businesses made use of the federal system, the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (LLR) conducted an audit of employer use, and while if found the majority of firms complied with the law, the initiative also determined a number had ignored to do so.
In total, 323 businesses were cited for failure to use E-Verify, according to The State, a Columbia area newspaper.
Lesia Kudelka, spokeswoman for the LLR said the noncompliant businesses represented fewer than 10 percent of all businesses included in the review of E-Verify use. She also told The State none of the companies cited for noncompliance lost their licensing to operate in South Carolina or were found to be repeat offenders.
When firms violate the E-Verify law, they are put on probation, Kudelka said. Repeat violations could lead to tougher sanctions and even the suspension of business licenses.
Employers largely compliant to and impressed with E-Verify
Overall, 4,304 South Carolina businesses were included in the audit - 2,234 of which abided by the E-Verify law; 1,747 did not hire new workers in 2012, and 323 did not comply with the new law.
At first, employers were unfamiliar and confused with E-Verify processes; but as the number of noncompliant businesses declines with each month, South Carolina firms are "actually embracing it," Darrell Scott, vice president of public policy for the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, told The State.
That trend emulates a nationwide approval of E-Verify that comes with more frequent use. A recent study by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services found more than 1,300 U.S. employers gave E-Verify an average satisfaction score of 86 out of 100.
Compliance is essential to a business' operations, particularly in regard to employment verification. Companies that find E-Verify challenging can work with an established HR service provider to ensure legally compliant hiring practices.
Want to be sure you stay compliant in the hiring process? Ensuring compliance is just one of the ways we make things easy for you.