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  • Venus Caruso

Florida Legislature Passes Bill Requiring Private Employers to E-Verify Employment Eligibility

The Florida Legislature has approved bill SB 1718 that will require private employers with 25 or more employees to use the federal E-Verify system to confirm the employment eligibility of newly hired workers starting from July 1, 2023. The federal E-Verify system is operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security and enables employers to electronically verify the work eligibility of newly hired individuals.


Per SB 1718, this mandatory employment verification will only apply to employees hired on or after July 1, 2023 and must be performed within 3 business days of the employee's start date. Employees who were hired prior to that date as well as independent contractors are excluded from this verification requirement.


In the case of employee leasing companies, such companies will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the E-Verify requirements unless they have a written agreement with their clients that states otherwise.


If an employer is unable to verify a newly hired employee because the E-Verify system is down for more than 3 business days after the employee's start date, the employer must use the Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9) to verify employment eligibility and retain proof, such as a screenshot, showing the E-Verify system was down for each day it was down.


Employers subject to the E-Verify requirement will be required to certify their compliance on their first tax return each calendar year. In addition, employers will be required to retain a copy of each new employee's E-Verify documentation for a minimum of 3 years.


Failure to comply with the E-Verify requirements may, depending on the severity of non-compliance, result in the suspension of an employer’s state business license(s) and potential fines of $1,000 per day until the non-compliance is cured.


This bill is expected to go into effect on July 1, 2023.


 

The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. Nothing stated in this article should be taken as legal advice or legal opinion for any individual matter. As legal developments occur, the information contained in this article may not be the most up-to-date legal or other information.

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