SB 1718: Florida’s new law will require private employers with 25 or more employees to use E-Verify to verify employment eligibility of hired workers.
What is E-Verify?
A federal government program that started in the mid-1990s, the E-Verify system is available to employers to verify employment eligibility of newly hired employees. Designed to help mitigate the risk of hiring individuals who are ineligible to work in the United States.
Comparing information provided by an employee’s completed Form I-9 and records available to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration, E-Verify verifies the identity and employment authorization status of individuals hired to work in the United States. Real-time results are then presented to the employer and if there is information that does not match, the employer and employee are provided with details on how to resolve the situation.
Since its development in the 1990s, several states have adopted legislation mandating the use of E-Verify for certain employers. On July 1st, 2023, Florida joined the list which also includes Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah.
What does this mean for my business?
Employers covered under the new Florida law (SB 1718) must comply with the federal requirements of the E-Verify system for newly hired employees (not independent contractors) starting on July 1st, 2023.
• Employers are prohibited from creating cases in E-Verify for employees hired before the employer enrolled in E-Verify.
• Employers have three business days after the first day a new hire starts work to create an E-Verify case to verify employment eligibility status.
• If within those first three business days an employer is unable to access E-Verify, the employer must retain proof (ex. screenshot of inaccessibility) for each day the system wasn’t available.
Employers should visit https://www.e-verify.gov/ for more information about their requirements.
What if I am non-compliant with SB 1718?
If an employer fails to verify the identity and employment eligibility of new hires by use the E-Verify system, employers will first be notified of a determination of noncompliance by the Department of Economic Opportunity and be given 30 days post notification to correct the noncompliance.
Penalties, which may be assessed for employers who fail to use E-Verify three times in any 24-month period, may include:
• Fines up to $1,000 per day until proof of compliance
• Suspension or revocation of licenses including franchise, permit, certification, registration, charter, or similar authorization forms required by law.
More information about E-Verify can be found at https://www.e-verify.gov/