Effective July 1, 2023, private employers operating in Florida with 25 or more employees must use E-Verify during their onboarding process. Previously, the E-Verify requirement only applied to public employers, contractors, and subcontractors, while private employers were required to either comply with Form I-9 requirements or use E-Verify.
What is E-Verify?
E-Verify is a digital employment eligibility tool that verifies if the newly hired employee is authorized to work in the United States.
To Whom Does This Law Apply?
This requirement applies to Florida private employers with 25 or more employees. Employers with less than 25 employees are encouraged to use E-Verify but are not required to do so. Employers are not required to utilize E-Verify on independent contractors since they are not considered employees.
Moving Forward: What Are Employers Required to Do?
Florida private employers should update their onboarding process, if necessary, to incorporate the new E-Verify requirement in conjunction with Form I-9 in anticipation of the July 1, 2023, deadline. Employers must verify employment eligibility within three business days of the new hire’s start date.
Record-Keeping Requirements and Certification
Employers must maintain a copy of the documentation provided for Form I-9 and E-Verify and any official verification for three years after the employee’s start date.
Beginning July 1, 2024, if the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) finds that an employer has knowingly hired someone who is not authorized and did not verify the employee’s employment eligibility, the DEO can impose civil penalties on the employer, including the repayment of any economic development incentive and the DEO will put the employer on probation for one year, requiring the employer to demonstrate compliance every quarter. In addition, if another violation occurs within 24 months, the DEO is authorized to suspend or revoke all Florida-issued licenses.
Additionally, if the DEO finds that an employer failed to use the E-Verify system, it will notify the employer and give them 30 days to rectify the non-compliance. If the DEO finds that the employer has not used the E-Verify system 3 times within a 24-month period, the DEO can fine the employer $1,000 per day until the employer provides proof that it has rectified the non-compliance.