Monday, September 28, 2020 Charleston County Library

CHARLESTON, S.C. - At Charleston County Public Library (CCPL), our aim is to reach and assist people from as many walks of life as we can. Plenty of people have made mistakes in their past and are actively trying to better themselves. Many folks face barriers to employment and this can impact their lives in several ways from disrupting their livelihoods to effecting their ability to pay their bills and take care of their families.

If an employee is considered high risk, the potential barriers to employment may be greater.

Our community partner, South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SC DEW), offers a service called the Federal Bonding Program that may help. This program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and administered by SC DEW.

What is the Federal Bonding Program?

The Federal Bonding program allows employers to obtain skilled, but barrier-laden workers without taking risks, thus giving the prospective employee a second chance at success. Through the program, a business receives protection via fidelity insurance free of charge and the job seeker gets an opportunity to show employable job skills, which removes the barrier to employment and increases their employability. The program reimburses the employer for any loss due to employee theft of money or property. The program gives an incentive to the employer to hire an at-risk-job applicant.

Who are the employees facing a barrier to employment?

  • Justice-involved individuals with a record of arrest, conviction, or imprisonment; anyone who has ever been on parole or probation or has any police records;
  • Recovering addicts who have been rehabilitated through treatment for alcohol or drug abuse;
  • Individuals with poor personal credit records or those who have declared bankruptcy;
  • Individuals lacking a work history;
  • Individuals dishonorably discharged from the military;
  • Workers who need bonding in order to prevent being laid off or to secure a promotion;
  • Anyone else who needs the bond in order to get a job.

Employees faced with any of these types of barriers are eligible for Federal Bonding coverage.

Who may request the Fidelity Bond?

Individual seeking bonding services may contact their local SC Works Center to request a Federal Bonding Voucher. The voucher informs the potential employer of your Federal Bonding eligibility and provides the employer instructions on how to apply for the bond if you are selected for hire. Visit the SC Works site by clicking here and then click 'Find a Center' at the bottom of the page.

Employers must request the bond from the State Bonding Coordinator at [email protected] after making a firm job offer and setting a start date.

How does bonding issuing to the Employer work?

  • Bonds are issued directly to the employer by the fidelity bond insurance company;
  • The job start date is the effective date of the bond insurance;
  • Bonds are self-terminating after six months;
  • After the initial six months of coverage terminates, continued coverage may be available for purchase by the employer at the market rate through the fidelity insurance company;
  • Employer receives a total of $5000 coverage, without a deductible.

Are there restrictions in the program’s coverage?

  • Workers must meet the legal age requirements for employment in their respective state of residence;
  • Wage payments must include deduction of federal taxes;
  • Anyone self-employed cannot be covered.

Need a place to go and log on to the SC Works website?

Remember that CCPL locations are connection points for the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce. As connection points, our libraries offer free public access to computers and tools to guide jobseekers through the job search.

Click here to see which library locations are open and available to provide in-person services.  With a little bit of practice and self-patience, you will be ready to take on the next steps in your future career. If you would like more information about changing careers during difficult circumstances, assistance in finding resources, tips on how to get the job-hunting process started or more, please reach out to us at CCPL by email, chat or text. You may also call us at 843-805-6930, leave a voice message, and a library staff member will return your call. Remember, you are not alone.