Requirements to comply with the SC Illegal Immigration and Reform Act

The “South Carolina Illegal Immigration and Reform Act” is a law that affects all employers, including churches, in the state of South Carolina. It requires employers to verify the legal status of new employees and prohibits the employment of any worker who is not legally authorized to work in the country.

Employers are already required to complete the federal employment eligibility verification form I-9. The state law requires extra steps in verifying the eligibility of new employees. An employer must use one of the following two options in verifying a new employee’s status:

  1. Utilize E-verify, an online free program maintained by the US Department of Homeland Security.
  2. Ensure that the employee:
    1. Possesses a valid SC driver’s license or identification card issued by the SC Department of Motor Vehicles; or
    2. Is eligible to obtain a SC driver’s license or identification card; or
    3. Possesses a valid driver’s license or identification card from another state whose qualification requirements are as strict as those of the state of South Carolina. (For a list of these states, you can visit the Web site of the SC Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation at www.llr.state.sc.us.)

Once an employer has decided which verification option to use, the employer must be consistent and use that option exclusively when verifying all new employees. The employer also has to verify all new employees within three days of employment.

The penalties for not complying with this law include civil penalties of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 for each violation. In addition, the organization could be closed for conducting any business for a period of time.

If you would like more information regarding this law, please visit the web site of the SC Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation at www.llr.state.sc.us/Immigration.

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