Five Aiken County companies in violation of E-verify law
Five Aiken County businesses are among more than 300 in South Carolina citied for violations of new mandatory employee immigration status reporting.
State labor department officials cited 323 businesses in the first year of mandatory immigration checks for employees in a document released Monday.
Lawmakers in 2011 required all businesses to use the federal E-Verify system to check the names and Social Security numbers of newly hired workers.
The system is used to determine if the employee can work legally in the United States.
Though there was violation in reporting, none of the Aiken County businesses had hired illegal workers.
“The employees in question were not determined to be illegal,” said Lesia Kudelka, spokeswoman for the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. “The finding is failure to E-Verify new hires.”
The companies in violation were Jumpin Bean Inflatables, Inc., of 1746 Knox Ave. in North Augusta; Bowen Auto Parts, 5471 Jefferson Davis Highway in Beech Island; Genesis & Associates Development GR on 3050 Whiskey Road in Aiken; Savannah River Banking Company at 407 Silver Bluff Road in Aiken; and Silver Bluff Animal Hospital LLC on 416 Silver Bluff Road in Aiken.
All of the businesses only had one worker who was not processed through the E-Verify system, except for Jumpin Bean Inflatables, which had three.
All of the Aiken County businesses were placed on one year of probation and must report the details of all employees, and any changes, quarterly to the Department of Labor.
“None of the businesses in South Carolina lost operating licenses,” Kudelka said. “There have been no repeat violations.”
Repeat offenses can result in fines and the suspension of business licenses.
Fewer than 10 percent of the companies that were checked failed to comply with the law.
“We still find employers who are not familiar with the state law and E-Verify but the number declines each month,” Kudelka said.
Companies have not had as many problems with the system as expected, said Otis Rawl, president of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.
The compliance rate of more than 90 percent is not bad for a first year, Rawl said.
The law exempts farmer workers, maids and fishermen from the E-Verify requirement.