An amendment to a bill (S.20) in the S.C. Senate this week could place an unnecessary burden on small businesses. The S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulations (LLR) wants to force every business to stop using a drivers license, social security card, birth certificate or other official state document to prove U.S. citizenship when hiring a worker.

Instead LLR wants all businesses to only use the federal E-Verify internet-based system. While there are no fees to use E-Verify, there are considerable costs in terms of time and money for a small business to comply.

1. The E-Verify Users Manual is 82 pages long! Even businesses with an HR department complain. Elrinda McCoy, HR Manager for Boykin Contractors in West Columbia says, “The e-verify process has changed multiple times just in the short time that we’ve been using it. I can imagine that businesses who rarely hire employees would basically have to have new training in the system each time they have to use it. It would be a pain.”

2. There are wide areas of the state without the broadband internet service necessary to use E-Verify efficiently. “South Carolina’s access to broadband is quite poor — 8th worst in the nation in access to the kinds of connections that allow one to take advantage of the full Internet according to a recent FCC report [pdf],” (Community Broadband Networks)

3. Even if broadband service is available, the E-Verify mandate would force the small business owner to buy broadband if they don’t already have it or take the time to go to a local library or state workforce One-Stop office to use the broadband service there.

4. E-Verify is not totally reliable. According to Erlinda McCoy, “there are several glitches with the system. For example, we are not allowed to specify which ID’s to obtain from the employee. But if we don’t enter the name exactly the way it appears on the social security card, it will result in a ‘Not Authorized to Work’.”

Call or email the Senate office of your state Senator today. You can find a list of all Senators along with contact information by clicking here. You can also call the Senate Clerk’s Office at 803-212-6200 and ask to be connected to your Senator.

Ask your Senator to vote against mandating all businesses to use E-Verify. Tell them that it is an unnecessary burden on small businesses. Feel free to use any of the above information.

Thank you for your support.

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