Florida Requires Certain Employers to Use E-Verify

Florida has enacted legislation (Senate Bill 1718) that requires employers with 25 or more employees to use E-Verify to confirm a new hire is eligible to work in the United States. The requirement takes effect July 1, 2023.

The Details

By way of background, E-Verify is an internet-based system operated by the federal government that enables employers to determine a new hire’s eligibility to work in the United States. Notably, employers that use E-Verify must still complete a Form I-9 for each new hire.

For employees hired on or after July 1, 2023, Florida employers with 25 or more employees must use E-Verify to confirm the newly hired employee is eligible to work in the United States. These employers must retain a copy of the documentation provided and any official verification generated, if applicable, for at least 3 years.

Under the new law, an employer may not continue to employ a worker after obtaining knowledge that the individual is unauthorized to work in the United States.

If the E-Verify system is unavailable for 3 business days after the first day that the new employee begins working, and an employer cannot access the system to verify a new employee’s employment eligibility, the employer must still complete the Form I-9 and document the unavailability of the E-Verify system.

The employer must do the latter by retaining a screenshot from each day that shows the employer’s lack of access to the system, a public announcement that the E-Verify system is unavailable, or any other communication or notice recorded by the employer regarding the unavailability of the system.

Employers that are required to use E-Verify must also certify on their first return each calendar year to the state’s tax service provider that they are in compliance with the requirement when making contributions to or reimbursing the state’s unemployment compensation or reemployment assistance system.

Starting on July 1, 2024 penalties for non-compliance with the E-Verify requirements include potential Florida Department of Economic Opportunity fines of $1,000 per day until the employer provides sufficient proof to the department that the noncompliance was resolved as well as the potential for suspension of a business license.

Employee-leasing companies that specifically place the primary obligation for E-Verify compliance upon client companies—in “a written agreement or memorandum of understanding”—will “not [be] required to verify employment eligibility of any new employees of the client compan[ies].”

Next Steps

Covered Florida employers should:

  • Review procedures to ensure compliance with Senate Bill 1718.
  • Enroll and start using E-Verify by July 1, 2023 for all new hires. To enroll in E-Verify, visit the E-Verify website, or contract with a third party agent to process E-Verify on your behalf.
  • Train those who will be using E-Verify on how to use the system and post required E-Verify posters.