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May 2023: Florida Will Require Private Sector Employers to Use E-Verify Beginning July 1

17 May

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Update Applicable to:

All private employers in Florida with 25 or more employees.

What happened?

On Wednesday, May 10, 2023, Governor DeSantis signed SB 1718, requiring private employers with at least 25 employees to use E-Verify during their onboarding process starting July 1, 2023.

What are the details?

The law applies to new employees hired on or after July 1, 2023.

A private employer that transacts business in Florida, has a license issued by an agency, and employs workers in Florida is required to use the I-9 Form or E-Verify or a substantially equivalent system to verify that new hires or retained contract employees are authorized to work in the United States. If the employer uses the I-9 system, the employer must retain a copy of the documentation for at least 3 years after the individual’s initial date of employment. A private employer that does not use the I-9 Form or E-Verify or does not maintain the I-9 Form documentation for 3 years, will be required by the Department of Economic Opportunity to provide an affidavit stating that the private employer will comply with the law, has terminated the employment of all unauthorized aliens in this state, and will not intentionally or knowingly employ an unauthorized alien in this state.

The bill alters the defenses for employers using the I-9 Form or E-Verify system; and, beginning July 1, 2024, amends the penalties for an employer’s noncompliance to register and use the EVerify system, including requiring reporting and allowing for the suspension and revocation of employer licenses in certain circumstances; it also creates penalties for employers who knowingly employ unauthorized aliens, effective July 1, 2024.

Key Takeaways for Employers on the New Law

Compliance dates for covered businesses

Record retention requirements

Compliance presumed

Annual certification required

Penalties for noncompliance

If the E-Verify system is unavailable for 3 business days after the first day that the new employee begins working for pay and an employer cannot access the system to verify a new employee’s employment eligibility, the employer must use the Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9) to verify employment eligibility. The unavailability of the E-Verify system does not bar the employer from using the rebuttable presumption established in paragraph (4)(a). An employer must document the unavailability of the E-Verify system by retaining a screenshot from each day which shows the employer’s lack of access to the system, a public announcement that the E-Verify system is not available, or any other communication or notice recorded by the employer regarding the unavailability of the system.

Businesses with fewer than 25 employees can continue to use Form I-9 to verify employment eligibility or choose to take the extra step of using E-Verify, which comes with heightened immunity protections. Employers that voluntarily use the E-Verify system may also submit annual certifications for documentation purposes.

For more information, please see the links below:

Announcement

SB 1718 Bill: Link

Bill Page: Link

Full Analysis: Link

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the links above to familiarize themselves with the applicable requirements and consult their employment attorney for assistance in ensuring compliance.

Need help understanding how changes to employment laws will affect your business?

Learn more about how Vensure's Florida PEO services can help you navigate complex employment laws and keep your business compliant.


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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