As the New Year approaches, it’s important to re-visit some of the state-specific E-Verify legislation passed in 2008 that have upcoming deadlines and implementation dates in 2009. In particular, both Missouri and South Carolina have E-Verify laws which are set to take effect this week, starting January 1, 2009.
Missouri’s E-Verify law applies to employers that receive state contracts or grants in excess of $5,000, or any business entity receiving a state-administered or subsidized tax credit, tax abatement, or loan from the State of Missouri. Under the law, these employers must enroll and participate in E-Verify and also document their enrollment by sworn affidavit. Employers who violate these requirements can face suspension of their business permits, licenses, or exemptions. The law stipulates, however, that employers participating in E-Verify will have an affirmative defense to any charges that they have knowingly employed an unauthorized foreign national.
South Carolina’s E-Verify law is being implemented in stages, and the first phase going into effect this week will apply to all contractors and subcontractors with 500 or more employees that seek to enter into state contracts for services valued in excess of $25,000 or $15,000, if the contract is with a political subdivision. Under the law, these employers will be required to either participate in E-Verify or to restrict their hiring to only those individuals who possess or qualify for a South Carolina driver’s license, or other state license with similarly strict requirements.
The next phase for South Carolina will take place on July 1, 2009, when the law will take effect for mid-sized contractors (those with 100 or more employees) as well as mid-sized private employers (those with 100 or more employees). The last and final phase will be July 1, 2010, at which time all employers (private and public) will be covered. As with Missouri, potential penalties for violations can include fines and suspension of business licenses.
State-specific E-Verify laws are detailed and complex. Employers can request a free E-Verify and Form I-9 HR Toolkit from the Tracker I-9™ website to help you to manage these new requirements.