COMPLIANCE NEWS: FLORIDA E-VERIFY MANDATE
Effective July 1, 2023, Florida employers with 25 or more employees must use E-Verify for employment eligibility verification of new employees. Here are 6 key takeaways regarding the new law:
- Private employers with 25 or more employees must utilize the E-Verify system in addition to completing Form I-9. The law applies to new employees hired on or after July 1. E-Verify utilizes information available to the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security to confirm records and identity. If the records do not match, the system will notify with a “Tentative Nonconfirmation” (mismatch) result. You must give the notice to the employee, who then has 10 days from the issuance of the mismatch to notify you whether they will resolve the mismatch. If the employee cannot resolve the mismatch, they are no longer eligible to continue employment.
- For at least three years, the employer must retain a copy of the documentation, as well as any official verification generated.
- Employers that use the E-Verify system establish a rebuttable presumption that they have not knowingly employed an unauthorized worker. If the E-Verify system is down for three days, and you cannot timely complete the process for a new hire, you can still benefit from the rebuttable presumption by completing Form I-9 and taking a screenshot each day, documenting that the system is unavailable, or retaining any official notice or communication you received about the system being down.
- Each employer that is required to use the E-Verify system must certify compliance on its first return when making contributions to or reimbursing the state’s unemployment compensation or reemployment assistance system. An employer that voluntarily uses the E-Verify system may make such a certification on its first return each calendar year in order to document such use.
- Penalties will go into effect on July 1, 2024. Businesses have 30 days to cure noncompliance after receiving notice from the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), and the new law requires the DEO to notify a business prior to issuing penalties for violations. If the DEO determines that an employer failed to use the E-Verify system as required three times in any 24-month period, the department must impose a fine of $1,000 per day until the employer provides sufficient proof that the noncompliance is cured. An employer’s first violation results in a one-year probationary period with reporting requirements to put a business on a path to compliance prior to any licenses being revoked.
- Employers utilizing the E-Verify system are required to clearly display the Notice of E-Verify Participation and Right to Work posters in both English and Spanish.
Businesses with fewer than 25 employees can continue to use Form I-9 to verify employment eligibility or choose to take the extra step of using E-Verify, which comes with heightened immunity protections. Employers that voluntarily use E-Verify may submit annual certifications for documentation purposes.
For more information on this new bill or to learn how Anthros can assist with the E-Verify process, please contact us.