Florida E-Verify

Florida’s immigration reform bill, Senate Bill 1718, requires private Florida employers that employ more than 25 workers to participate in the E-Verify program beginning July 1, 2023.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity will enforce the new Florida E-Verify law. If the Department determines that an employer failed to verify new hires three times in a 24-month period, any government-issued licenses can be suspended and a $1,000 per day fine can be imposed until the failure is corrected. Enforcement will begin one year later, on July 1, 2024.

Other aspects of Florida’s SB 1817:

  • The EVerify requirement applies to all public contracts (for labor, supplies, or services);
  • Employers will not verify independent contractors;
  • All employers of more than 25 employees must certify participation in E-Verify on its first report each year to the state’s tax service provider. Employers of 25 or fewer employees who participate in E-Verify voluntarily may report via the same method;
  •  If an employer is unable to verify a new hire because the E-Verify system is unavailable for more than three days, the employer must retain a screenshot or other proof of the system’s unavailability;
  • Employers must retain proof of the new hire’s verification in E-Verify for at least three years;
  • Employee leasing companies must verify new hires of client companies unless there is an agreement transferring the responsibility to the client company.

Compliance with federal law regarding Form I-9 and E-Verify creates a rebuttable presumption that the employer has not violated the new Florida E-Verify law.

Florida E-Verify law before July 1, 2023

Currently, only state agencies are required to use E-Verify and to include in all state contracts a requirement that contractors and sub-contractors utilize the E-Verify system to verify the employment eligibility of:

  • all new employees hired by the contractor during the contract term; and
  • all new employees hired by a subcontractor during the contract term.

The current requirement applies to “all contracts for the provision of goods and services to the state in excess of nominal value….” While “nominal value” is not a term defined in law, some Florida government agencies have set a minimum contract amount for which the E-Verify requirement would attach.

Last updated 05/11/2023

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