How to Comply With Florida’s Newest Employment Law

A new employment law is in effect in Florida that changes the hiring practices of private employers. House Bill 1617 and Senate Bill 1718 were passed into law on April 28th, 2023. Lawmakers believe the law will help address concerns with undocumented immigrants. Among other things, this new legislation requires private employers with more than 25 employees to use the federal government’s E-Verify system for new hires beginning July 1, 2023. The E-Verify system is an online program that determines an individual’s work authorization status by comparing the person’s information with government records.

E-Verify has been a resource for U.S. employers since 1996. It is free to use and can quickly ensure whether a person can legally work in the country. After entering the person’s information, it takes just a few seconds to receive a response stating the person’s employment eligibility. Currently, more than 960,000 employers are enrolled in E-Verify. On average, 1,500 businesses sign up every week.

What Happens if You Don’t Comply

Private employers in Florida have had to come up with new employment measures to comply with the state’s new law. If they have not, they could face penalties and violations. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity or DEO has already begun enforcing the new law. If an employer is found to have failed to use the E-Verify system as required three times within 24 months, that employer will be subject to a fine of $1,000 per day. There’s also a chance that their business license could be revoked until the employer provides evidence of its compliance.

People found to have violated the law for the first time can also face a one-year probationary period. Any subsequent violation within 24 months of a previous violation could result in a suspension of their state license. The length of that suspension will be determined by the number of employees they have hired who are not authorized to work in the United States.

What You Need To Know About Form I-9

Florida companies also have to use the Form I-9 to verify employment eligibility. Form I-9 is a document that confirms whether an employee is legally allowed to work in the country. It requires employees to prove their identity and employment authorization. Employers are then required to look over these documents to determine if they are authentic. Then, all of this has to be stored on file.

According to E-Verify, it does not replace Form I-9. E-Verify is supposed to be used to verify employment authorization based on information provided on Form I-9. Here are some differences and similarities between the two:

Is This Mandatory?

Form I-9: Yes
E-Verify: Voluntary for most employers

Is a Social Security Number Required?

Form I-9: No
E-Verify: Yes

Is a Photo ID required?

Form I-9: No
E-Verify: Yes, on identity documents

Is This Required for Re-Verification Needs?

Form I-9: Yes, it is required
E-Verify: Cannot be used for re-verification

Alltrust Insurance: Helping To Ensure You Are in Compliance

The Alltrust Insurance team can help you navigate the complexities of employment eligibility verification such as the E-Verify law. We can help you with managing HR needs, employee benefits, and more. We offer custom solutions that can help you streamline your process and ensure compliance.

When you partner with Alltrust, we’ll assist you in creating a secure and productive workplace environment for employees. Simply contact us to get started. One of our team members is waiting for any questions you may have!


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