S.C. businesses face new hiring law

Updated: Dec 06, 2011 10:11 PM EST

By Lia Sestric
lsestric@abcnews4.com

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – All South Carolina business owners will be faced with a new law for hiring employees starting the first of the year. The policy is designed to make sure all workers in the state are legal. Businesses run the risk of losing their business license to operate if they fail to follow the new law.

The new law requires all new hires to be checked through an online system called “E-verify.” The U.S. Department of Homeland Security maintains the system, which compares the information a potential employee provides against government records.

Today, Jim Knight of South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, & Regulation spoke to small business owners in Summerville. It’s part of an ongoing seminar series to educate business about the E-Verify system.

Knight said it takes a tremendous burden off of employers.

“The State of South Carolina is mandating employees to use this database,” he said. “It’s the best system we have to determine whether or not documents to employers are legitimate or not.”

The state Department of Labor will be checking for compliance. Employers will be given three days to sign up, but after June 30, penalties will kick in, Knight said. First there will be a probation period that could eventually lead to a loss of a business license.

“There’s a lot of phony South Carolina Driver’s Licenses out there. With E-Verify, employers don’t have to be experts and we can screen out those phony documents.”

Knight said E-verify will help create a legalized workforce in South Carolina.

To learn more visit, www.dhs.gov/e-verify.