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Florida Bill Would Ramp Up Penalties Against Employers Hiring Undocumented Workers

19 Apr


Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of Florida.

What happened?
On March 14, 2023, the Florida Legislature introduced Senate Bill 1718 (SB 1718), which, if passed, would ramp up the penalties imposed on counties and municipalities that “knowingly employ, hire, recruit, or refer, either for herself or himself or on behalf of another, for private or public employment within the state, an alien who is not duly authorized to work.”

What are the details?
The bill would amend Title XXXI of the Florida Statutes, Section 448.09, to increase the penalty for public employers for a first violation from $500 to $1,000. Subsequent violations would constitute a second-degree misdemeanor and carry a fine of $2,500 per unauthorized worker.

In addition, the bill would amend the state’s labor law to allow for random audits of a public employer’s employment eligibility documentation by, amongst other agencies, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The bill would also establish a new provision that an undocumented immigrant who works using false identification documents commits a third-degree felony.

The bill was introduced on March 14, 2023, and was referred to the Senate Committee on Fiscal Policy on March 17. If the bill is enacted, it will become effective on July 1, 2023.

For more information, please see the links below:

Senate Bill 1718 (SB 1718)

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and should be on the lookout for any more information regarding this update. Vensure will continue to provide more updates once more news has been received.

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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