The South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act will be completely implemented on July 1, 2010, when its applicability will be extended to all employers. Private employers with at least 100 employees have been subject to the Act since July 1, 2009.

The Act prohibits employers in South Carolina from employing unauthorized aliens and it establishes additional steps that employers must take to verify the work status of new hires. Employers that violate the Act will face tough penalties in the form of monetary fines, suspension, and even permanent revocation of the ability to employ workers in South Carolina. Under the Act, employers are required to verify the employment authorization of all newly-hired employees by either: (1) participating in E-Verify or (2) employing workers who have a South Carolina driver’s license or DMV-issued identification card or are eligible to obtain a South Carolina driver’s license or identification card. Out-of-state driver’s licenses from certain states also may be sufficient for verification purposes. (For more information, see the June 22, 2010 issue of the South Carolina eAuthority.).

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Ogletree Deakins has one of the largest business immigration practices in the United States and provides a wide range of legal services for employers seeking temporary business visas and permanent residence on behalf of foreign national employees.

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