Florida’s Senate Bill 1718 recently took effect, significantly changing the hiring process. However, these changes have left employers with many questions. The Florida Department of Revenue (FDR) provided guidance to address the confusion. In its “New Employee Eligibility and E-Verify – Frequently Asked Questions,” the FDR addresses the bill’s requirements and how to comply.
This bill requires private employers of 25 or more workers to use the federal government’s E-Verify system. Created by the federal government and maintained by the Department of Homeland Security, this internet-based system checks the employment eligibility for new workers. It uses information taken from completed Form I-9s to verify their work authorization.
Employers must then attest their compliance upon the first unemployment compensation or reemployment assistance return. The Department of Economic Opportunity determines when employers fail to meet the E-Verify requirements. It reviews whether employers failed three or more times in 24-month intervals.
In such cases, the Department may take appropriate action. Examples include suspending licensures and imposing $1,000 in daily penalties. These actions will continue until the employer provides proof of compliance.
In most cases, the 25-employee requirement does not apply to employees outside of Florida. The FDR’s Section 448.095, Florida statutes apply to services performed in-state. As such, it will apply to employers with 25 or more employees operating in Florida.
Private employers of 25 or more workers must use the E-Verify system for all new employees. According to this new FAQ, employers must use E-Verify for the 25th and following employees. As such, this rule applies if these employees become the 25th or later hire during employment verification.
Employers can use one of four platforms to certify that they used the E-Verify system:
However, the employer must have a principal officer sign and date the certificate available on their chosen platform. They may have an owner, partner or member, corporate president, treasurer, or another officer sign the certification. Once completed, they must submit it with the first unemployment compensation or reemployment assistance return.
As demonstrated above, the rapid changes in the employment eligibility verification (Form I-9) process have proven challenging. This struggle resulted in Florida’s push for E-Verify, though the following requirements have confused many. Regardless of whether you have employees in Florida, using an electronic I-9 management tool with E-Verify integration eases the burden. This tool can automate the process, providing step-by-step guidance and secure document storage.
When it comes to your employees, automation makes eligibility verification quick and simple. Ensure compliance today with I-9 Compliance.