E-Verify Requirements Expand to Private Businesses in Florida

Changes were made to E-Verify requirements in Florida on May 10, 2023. Learn more about who the changes may affect and how it may impact your I-9 and E-Verify processes.

On May 10, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a sweeping immigration bill (SB 1718) that includes new E-Verify provisions which go into effect on July 1, 2023. The new law will require private employers with at least 25 employees to use the E-Verify system for new hires within three business days of the employee's first day of work. Additionally, Florida employers covered by the law must also retain records of the documentation and verification generated for at least three years.

As you may recall, since 2021, Florida has required every public employer, contractor, and subcontractor to use the E-Verify system to verify employment eligibility of newly hired employees. However, private employers have had a choice to either use E-Verify or agree to make copies of all the identity and work authorization documents presented and retain them for three years. With the passing of this new bill, that choice is going away. 

The penalties for employers that do not follow this law can be steep. Beginning on July 1, 2024, if the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) determines that an employer failed to use E-Verify, they must notify the employer and give them 30 days to comply. If the DEO determines that an employer failed to use the E-Verify system three times in any 24-month period, they must impose a fine of $1,000 per day until the employer provides sufficient proof to the department that the noncompliance is cured. Noncompliance can also constitute grounds for the suspension of all licenses issued by a licensing agency. With such potential hefty costs to running afoul of this law, it is imperative if you're an employer in Florida, or there's a chance that you might hire employees that are based in Florida, that you become familiar with these new E-Verify requirements.

Watch our video to learn more about the unique requirements of the bill, its penalties, and next steps you may want to take if you are a Florida employer with 25 or more employees.


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About the Author

John Fay

Job Title: Director of Product Strategy

John Fay is an attorney and technologist with a deep applied knowledge of business immigration, I-9, and E-Verify rules and procedures. During his 20-plus-year career, he has worked closely with corporations, educational institutions, and government agencies on a variety of U.S. immigration and I-9/E-Verify issues, often in connection with the use of software and case management technology. He is a frequent speaker on corporate immigration compliance, presenting at various employment and immigration conferences throughout the U.S. During the past decade, he has spoken in more than 300 live and virtual presentations on I-9 and E-Verify topics, often serving as the moderator. He is also a prolific writer on both  I-9 and E-Verify, authoring more than 500 articles for human resources professionals and related associations.