Florida’s New Immigration Law to Require Private Employers to Use E-Verify

Morgan Lewis

Morgan Lewis

Florida’s new immigration bill, effective July 1, will require private employers with 25 or more employees to verify compliance with US work authorization regulations through the E-Verify system. Previously, only public employers and private employers contracting with state and local governments or receiving state incentive dollars were required to use E-Verify to verify work authorization.

The following will apply under the new immigration law:

  • It is unlawful under federal and state law to knowingly employ a foreign national who is not work authorized under US immigration laws.
  • Private employers with 25 or more employees must use E-Verify for all new hires.
    • “Employee” is defined as an individual filling a permanent position under the control of the employer.
      • Part-time employees in permanent positions are covered by the requirement.
      • Independent contractors and casual laborers are not covered by the requirement.
    • Supporting documentation verifying work authorization must be retained for at least three years.
  • Employers must certify E-Verify participation on unemployment compensation or reemployment assistance system annual returns.
  • The use of the E-Verify system establishes a rebuttable presumption that an employer has not knowingly employed an unauthorized worker.
  • Penalties will be effective July 1, 2024, and the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) must notify an employer prior to the issuance of any penalty.
    • Employers will have 30 days to cure noncompliance after receiving a notice of noncompliance from the DEO.
  • Penalties will include the following:
    • For a first violation, there will be a one year probation period and quarterly reporting to the DEO will be required.
    • For a repeat violation within 24 months, suspension or violation of all licenses will occur, with the period of suspension being based on the number of unauthorized workers found.
    • For three violations within 24 months, a $1,000 a day fine will apply until the violation is cured.
    • Knowingly using false or fraudulent documentation for the purposes of obtaining employment will be considered a third degree felony.

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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