On January 1, 2021, Florida joined a growing number of states that mandate some use of E-Verify for certain employers. Last year, Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation that requires all public employers, including local school districts, public universities, and colleges, and state and local agencies, as well as their private contractors, to use E-Verify. The new law took effect on January 1, 2021. Read the new law.
What is E-Verify?
E-Verify, a federal electronic database, is used by employers to confirm the documentation provided by new hires and to establish lawful employment eligibility are in fact valid (by checking against federal databases).
What Florida employers are required to use E-Verify starting January 1, 2021?
- Every Florida public employer, including local school districts, public universities, and colleges, and state and local agencies, must enroll in and use the E-Verify system to confirm the eligibility of all new employees after 1.1.21.
- Contractors and subcontractors that have contracts with public employers. Public contracts now require an E-Verify certificate. Any subcontractor working on a public contract must provide the contractor with an affidavit (which must be retained by the contractor during the duration of the contract) stating that the subcontractor does not employ, contract with, or subcontract with unauthorized aliens.
Private employers are not required to use the E-Verify system unless they have a contract with a public employer, or they apply for taxpayer-funded incentives through the state Department of Economic Opportunity.
Special Note: The new Florida law reaffirms that all employers must still complete and maintain “I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms for all hires. Any private employer who does not use E-Verify must now maintain copies of the employee’s employment eligibility documents used to complete the Form I-9 for three years. This is optional under federal law.
What happens if an Employer Violates the new rules?
Failure to comply with the law can result in suspension or permanent termination of your Florida business license(s).