There are key changes and requirements in immigration compliance in the State of Florida starting July 1st, 2023. This document summarizes key sections of the 43-page law for you.
As of July 1st, 2023, when Florida Law 1718 takes effect, all private employers in Florida with 25 or more employees will be required to use E-Verify for all new hires.
Private employers should:
- Assess their employee count (current and anticipated in the near future)
- Update their onboarding practices,
- Register and begin using E-Verify, and
- Train those involved in this verification process, including Form I-9 training.
The E-Verify system, although it has improved, is known for incorrectly rejecting legally authorized workers. Documented foreign workers and green card holders are most affected by the system’s inaccuracies. Additionally, incorrect data entry in the Form I-9 can lead to Tentative Non-Confirmations in E-Verify.
Employers must be very careful in taking adverse employment actions based on E-Verify results. They should work with an experienced immigration compliance attorney to get up to speed on the challenges ahead.
Highlights of FL 1718 for employers:
- All private employers with 25 or more employees must use E-Verify to verify the employment eligibility of each new employee within three business days of starting work. The “E-Verify system” is an internet-based system operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The use of E-Verify is not a new requirement for Florida Employers. In 2021, Florida passed a law requiring public and certain private employers to use E-Verify. However, this law makes the E-Verify requirements much more extensive.
- Employers must retain a copy of the documentation provided for E-Verify and any official verification generated for at least 3 years.
Employers must certify E-Verify participation on the company’s first state tax service provider report each year.
The law does not require employers to verify the employment eligibility of those employed prior to July 1, 2023. Employers with less than 25 employees are not subject to this requirement.
- Subcontractors must provide an affidavit to the contractor stating that they do not employ, contract with, or subcontract with unauthorized workers.
- Employee leasing companies are responsible for completing the E-Verification for an employee, unless their employee leasing agreement with clients passes the new E-Verify requirement to the client.
- Employers who are found to knowingly employ unauthorized persons or who fail to comply with the requirements of this law could face: Suspension of their licenses, repayment of economic development incentives, one-year probation period with quarterly reports to the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), and more.
- Enforcement of the E-Verify law can be carried out by various entities starting July 1, 2024. The employer’s use of E-Verify creates a rebuttable presumption that the Employer complied with the bill and did not knowingly employ an unauthorized worker.
- Out-of-state driver’s licenses and permits issued by other states which provide a license to undocumented immigrants will no longer be recognized in Florida. Those individuals are further prevented from obtaining a Florida driver’s license. Currently, 18 states and the District of Colombia allow undocumented immigrants to obtain non REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses. These states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. They issue a license (or a ”driving privilege card”), if an applicant provides certain documentation such as a foreign birth certificate, foreign passport, or consular card and evidence of current residency in the state.
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