E-Verify is an electronic employment verification program through which employers may confirm the work eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. Although E-Verify started as a voluntary program, except for federal contractors, it has become mandatory for many employers in several states. This year expands the list of states requiring some or all employers to use the web-based system and adds to the ever-growing list of state mandates. Here is a breakdown of the 2021 requirements:
- States that require all or most employers to use E-Verify: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah
- Public employers and/or contractors with the state: Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas
- Public employers only: Idaho and Virginia
- States with local municipality E-Verify requirements: Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Washington
- State contractors only: Colorado, Louisiana, and Minnesota
Florida joins the list of states in 2021 with a new E-Verify requirement. Beginning January 1, every public employer, as well as contractors and subcontractors working on public projects, must enroll in and begin to use E-Verify to confirm the eligibility of all new employees. Private employers are not required to use E-Verify unless they have a contract with a public employer or if they apply to receive taxpayer-funded incentives through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
Additionally, Florida modified the Federal Form I-9 retention rule for private employers if they do not use E-Verify. The federal retention rule requires that Form I-9s, along with copies of documents used to complete them, must be maintained for three years from the date of hire or one year from the date of termination, whichever is later. Private employers who do not use E-Verify must maintain copies of the documents used to complete Form I-9 for three years.
E-Verify requirements differ from state to state, so it is important to know and understand the rules in every state where your company does business.