Florida Employers Now Required to Use E-Verify System
On May 10, 2023, Governor DeSantis signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 1718, which requires Florida public agencies as well as private employers with twenty-five or more employees to use the E-Verify system to verify employment eligibility of new employees starting July 1, 2023.
Starting July 1, 2023, covered Florida employers must verify every newly hired employee through the federal E-Verify system. Paper Form I-9’s alone are no longer sufficient under the new law. Employers must retain E-Verification documents for three years from the employee’s date of hire and certify compliance with the E-Verification requirements once per year on their tax returns. The new E-Verification requirements will not apply to any employee who was hired on or before June 30, 2023.
Enforcement of the new law will commence on July 1, 2024. If the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) determines that an employer has failed to use the E-Verify system, the DEO will notify the employer of the noncompliance. The notified employer will have 30 days to cure the noncompliance. If the DEO determines that an employer failed to use the E-Verify system 3 times in any 24-month period, it may impose a fine of $1,000 per day until the employer provides satisfactory evidence that it has rectified the noncompliance.
Given the steep penalties, employers with questions or concerns about the new E‑Verify requirements should contact a labor and employment law attorney.