Three States Update Immigration and E-Verify Laws

State laws going into effect impacting South Carolina, Mississippi, and Utah.


South Carolina -

The South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act will require all employers who do business in South Carolina to either participate in E-Verify or only hire employees who have or qualify for a SC driver's license. Employers failing to meet the requirements could face up to a $1,000 per violation. After an audit of roughly 1,500 companies, SC issued 90 citiations for various E-Verify mistakes. The penalty can be waivd under the law's first time violation exception as long as the employer shows good faith and begins using E-Verify and corrects the problem within 72 hours. Now that the state has effectively increased their E-Verify requirements, SC fully expects the amount of citations that will be issued to rise.


Mississippi -

The Mississippi Employment Protection Act, implemented in states, mandating E-Verify participation for state agencies and political subdivisions, public contractors, subcontractors, and private employers with at least 30 employees but less than 100. In July 2011 the law will expand to all employers in Mississippi.

Employers who do not comply with the law by the applicable date may have their state contracts terminated and also become ineligible for public contracts for the next three years. In addition, the employer may have their license, permit, or certificate allowing the employer to do business in Mississippi suspended for a period of one year.

Utah -

Utah recently enacted the Private Employer Verification Act that requires all private employers who employ more than 15 employees to use E-Verify or another similar online process to check on the employment eligibility of their employees. The bill does not provide any penalities for non compliance. Employers may register with the state for certification of compliance for a fee. The Department of Commerce publishes the list of all registered private employers on its website "Verify Utah." At the date of this article there were nearly 100 registered businesses.