E-Verify - The 'Voluntary' Federal Employment Eligibility Verification System
Next up in our review of states requiring private employers to participate in E-Verify – North Carolina and South Carolina.
In June 2011, North Carolina enacted a law (North Carolina HB 36) requiring all state agencies, counties and municipalities to use E-Verify by October 1, 2011. All other North Carolina employers must implement E-Verify by the following deadlines:
- Employers with more than 500 employees: October 1, 2012
- Employers with 100-499 employees: January 1, 2013
- Employers with 25-99 employees: July 1, 2013
The North Carolina law exempts seasonal temporary employees who are employed for 90 or fewer days during a 12-month period. However, employers need to be careful with these state mandated exemptions. In order to participate in E-Verify, employers have to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Homeland Security which requires the employer to use E-Verify for all new employees and prohibits the employer from verifying selectively.
The North Carolina law imposes civil monetary penalties for violations.
In June 2011, South Carolina enacted a law (South Carolina Act 69) requiring all employers to participate in E-Verify by January 1, 2012. The new law removed the option of only hiring employees who possess or qualify for a South Carolina driver’s license (or other state license with similarly strict requirements) in lieu of using E-Verify. The South Carolina law includes a grace period of one year for employers, during which penalties are probationary. After the one year grace period, employers can face suspension of their business license.
The South Carolina law also requires private employers to maintain contact information for all of its subcontractors and sub-subcontractors performing services for the private employer and to provide such information pursuant to an audit or investigation within seventy-two hours of the request.
Like many other states, certain provisions of the South Carolina immigration law have been blocked from taking effect by a challenge in federal court (see United States v. South Carolina, No. 2:11-cv-2958 (D.S.C. December 22, 2011)), including a provision that requires law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of people they pull over for traffic violations. However, the provisions regarding participation in E-Verify remain in effect.