Sixteen new laws took effect in North Carolina on January 1st. They address a wide range of issues, such as day care safety, undocumented workers and the theft of kitchen grease.
New hires must now have a cleared background check in hand before starting child care work, and current employees must re-apply for full certification every three years. The law also bans people from working in child care if they have been convicted of child neglect or abuse, a sex offense or an attempted sex offense.
Also on Jan. 1, the state continues to roll out a law requiring employers to check the work eligibility of new hires through the national e-Verify system. In October 2012, the law went into effect for counties, municipalities and businesses with at least 500 employees.
As of Tuesday, businesses employing between 100 and 499 people are also required to use the e-Verify system. The final phase on July 1 will bring in employers that have between 25 and 99 employees.
Another new law targets people who steal leftover kitchen grease, which can be sold and recycled. Under the law, stealing used cooking oil is defined as a misdemeanor. The theft becomes a felony if the value of the stolen grease and its container is more than $1,000.