On May 10, 2023, Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed into law SB 1718 which imposes new requirements for public agencies and private employers with twenty-five (25) or more employees to use the E-Verify system to verify a new employee’s employment eligibility within three (3) business days after the first day that the new employee begins working for pay.
Florida E-Verify Compliance
- Covered employers must certify their compliance with this requirement annually on their first unemployment insurance return of each calendar year.
- Employers must retain a copy of employment authorization documentation and any verification generated for a period of three (3) years.
- If an employer is unable to verify an employee’s employment authorization due to the E-Verify system being unavailable, the employer is required to 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.”
- Employers who are found to have violated the law three (3) times in a twenty-four month period will be subject to a $1,000.00 fine per day, until the employer demonstrates to the Department of Economic Opportunity that noncompliance with the law has been cured (NOTE: Effective July 1, 2023, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity will be renamed the Florida Department of Commerce).
Florida E-Verify and Unauthorized Aliens
An employer may not continue to employ an unauthorized alien after obtaining knowledge of that person’s unauthorized employment status.
Covered employers who utilize the E-Verify system or Form I-9 with respect to the employment of an individual who is subsequently determined to be an unauthorized alien are entitled to a rebuttable presumption that they have not violated the law. Additionally, employers who use the same documentation required by Form I-9 with respect to the employment of an individual subsequently determined to be an unauthorized alien have established an affirmative defense that they have not violated the law.
Employer Action Items
Covered employers should enroll and complete the necessary training for proper use of the E-Verify system and begin verifying employment authorization for all new hires effective July 1, 2023.
Employers who enroll in E-Verify are required to clearly display the Notice of E-Verify Participation and Right to Work posters in English and Spanish. Employers may also display the posters in other languages provided by Department of Homeland Security.
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. Employers should closely monitor the rules and regulations specific to their jurisdiction(s) and should seek advice from counsel relative to their rights and responsibilities.