Effective July 1, 2010 even the smallest employers in South Carolina are covered by the state’s tough immigration law. Employers with 100 or more workers were covered beginning July 1, 2009 but compliance for smaller companies was delayed.
The South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act prohibits a business from employing undocumented workers. Smaller employers must now follow additional steps to very the work status of new hires.
A free online training program for employers is available here.
Any employer who violates the law is subject to strict penalties including suspension of the business license. Repeated violations would result in the not being allowed to hire any workers in the future, essentially forcing the employer out of business.
South Carolina employers must verify the legal work status of all newly hired employees. An employer can use E-Verify to meet this requirement. E-Verify is a joint venture between the Department of Homeland Security, Social Security and Customs and Immigration, that verifies and confirms the authenticity of documents submitted at hiring. The program is free and (more…)
The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation or SCLLR recently announced that it has hired 10 new inspectors to ensure that every employer follows the state’s tough immigration codes.
Employers in South Carolina need to be scrupulous in following the state’s immigration and hiring laws, including the SCIIRA or South Carolina illegal Immigration Reform Act. This law is enforced thought the Office of Immigrant Worker Compliance in Columbia.
The SCIIRA currently applies to employers with more than 100 workers. The statute requires employers in South Carolina to use E-Verify or a similar program to make certain that new hires and current employees are legally entitled to work in the U.S. Employers can require a South Carolina driver’s license or I.D. card or those from 26 other states, instead of using E-Verify.
Under the new South Carolina Immigration law, employers must take a number of measures to ensure that the employees they are hiring may legally work in the U.S.
These steps include:
Complying with all federal I-9 requirements
Verifying the legal status of employees
The state recommends that employers use E-Verify, a free federal program, to verify the employee’s identity online in a few minutes.
E-Verify is a program available through the Department of Homeland Security. It detects fraudulent documents by comparing the employee’s information, including date of birth, social security number and gender, with a nationwide database and social security records and immigration documents.
A new feature of E-Verify will also permit the system to compare the photos on immigration documents with those in the DHS records. This will make it more difficult for an employee to counterfeit immigration documents such as green cards.
According to the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, employers can also verify identity by making sure that the employee has a South Carolina driver’s license or I.D. card. A driver’s license or I.D. card from another state with requirements as strict as those in South Carolina is also acceptable. The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles has determined that drivers’ licenses or identification cards issued by Alaska, Arizona, (more…)
The new South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act requires employers to verify the legal status of new employees.
One way to comply with this law is to use E-verify from the Department of Homeland Security. The E-verify database combines records from the Social Security Administration, immigration records and other federal agencies to eliminate identity theft. It also prevents employers from breaking the law by employing undocumented workers.
The state suggests that another way to comply with the law is to establish whether the employee has a South Carolina driver’s license or other government issued identity document. Employers are warned that in some cases, employers who refuse to hire legal immigrants, discriminate against Hispanic workers, or try to specify which forms of id they will accept from the list of acceptable documents on the I-9, may be in violation of federal law. It is not clear yet (more…)
Every South Carolina employer needs to be aware of the possibility of violence in the workplace. Although OSHA reports that homicide in the workplace is decreasing, tragically, violence is still one of the top cause of work-related fatalities. It is second only to work-related auto and highway accidents.
Every South Carolina employer must have a plan in place to prevent violence, and to address it if it occurs.
In October of 2007, a gunman shot broke into a downtown Alexandria, Louisiana law office and shot 5 people, killing two of them. Police responded to the scene, but were held at bay by the gunman for 10 hours. Finally, the police entered the building via the use of explosives. In the ensuing shoot-out between police and the gunman, the gunman was killed.
Several more incidents of violence in the workplace have occurred since the beginning of 2008.
On Valentine’s Day, (February 14,) a former graduate student burst into a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb, Illinois and began a shooting spree, wounding 16 and killing 6. The spree ended when the student turned the gun on himself.
The student, Steven Kazmierczak, was described by professors as calm and committed. Police reports stated that Kazmierczak had stopped taking his medications three weeks prior to the shooting and was behaving erratically. Kazmierczak’s girl friend, Jessica Baty, disagreed, claiming Steven wasn’t unduly stressed and had purchased the guns only for security.
A week earlier on February 7, an armed political activist burst into the Kirkwood, Missouri city council meeting and opened fire. Three city officials and two police officers were killed. The mayor of Kirkwood was injured but survived. Apparently the gunman had been tossed of out city council meetings twice before.
On February 2, in Tinley Park, Illinois (a Chicago suburb) a gunman posed as a delivery man in an attempt to rob a Lane Bryant store. Six women were in the store. The gunman bound them with duct tape in a back room, but the store manager managed to call 911. The gunman discovered the call, was enraged and shot all 6 women, killing 5.
These incidents ended in tragedy, emphasizing the need for employers to establish safety protocols against violence on the job. All companies should establish an emergency plan which includes training for supervisors and workers on how to respond to violence, and on what steps to take to help prevent acts of violence at work. South Carolina More Workplace Violence 2
The massacre at Virginia Tech was the worst case of workplace violence in 2007.
It was not the only incident, however, and tragic episodes in Illinois and Missouri are simply the most recent cases of violence in the workplace.
Several other episodes led to tragedy or near-tragedy in 2007.
At an Orlando Denny’s during Labor Day weekend of 2007, a 40-year-old waitress was stabbed to death by her estranged husband. Several families who had recently left Walt Disney World saw the attack at the restaurant on International Drive. Coworkers and customers both pursued the attacker, who fled on foot and escaped over a fence, leaving behind one of his shoes. Paramedics tried to save the waitress, but she died of her wounds.
A tragic event in September on the campus of Delaware State University left two students shot dead. Dover, Delaware police interviewed a student following the early morning shooting outside a college dining hall. University officials put the school on lockdown, and the campus’s roughly 1,700 students were confined to their dormitories. Word of the incident and the lockdown went out on cell phones. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as other law enforcement agencies, assisted local police in the search.
At the University of Wisconsin Madison, police hunted for an apparently suicidal man who threatened to explode a bomb at a local hospital and fired off some shots near it. The bomb threat was a fake, police said, adding that the man was a case of attempted “suicide by cop.” He had apparently hoped to provoke a shoot-out with police in which he would have been killed, officers said.
At Virginia Tech 32 students and staff were killed and 17 injured in the year’s worst tragedy, on April 16, 2007. A heavily armed assailant named Seung-Hui Cho chained the doors of a campus building shut before killing and wounding his victims, then turning his weapon on himself.
OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said Cho demonstrated several warning signs of impending workplace violence. Among other things, he showed an unhealthy interest in weapons.