As you may know, on May 10, 2023, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1718 into law, which will require, among other things, mandatory use of the federal E-Verify system by private sector employers with over 25 employees.
What is E- Verify?
E-Verify is an online system administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration.
The system cross-references information provided on Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) with other federal records to confirm the authorization of an individual to work in the U.S.
Based on the information provided, the system will either confirm employment eligibility or will issue a “tentative non confirmation” notice, indicating that the information does not match the records.
Who Does the New Law Affect?
Under the new law, private employers with at least 25 employees must utilize E-Verify to validate the employment eligibility of employees hired on or after July 1, 2023 within three (3) business days of the employee’s first day of employment.
The law does NOT (i) require the use of E-Verify for employees hired prior to July 1, 2023, (ii) apply to employers with less than 25 employees, or (iii) apply to independent contractors.
What are the Important Dates to Remember?
Starting July 1, 2023, covered employers must report compliance with E-Verify on the first unemployment tax return filed each calendar year.
Starting July 1, 2024, if a covered employer has failed to verify the employment eligibility of a new hire using the E-Verify system, the employer will be notified of the noncompliance and given 30 days to cure.
What Are the Penalties if You do Not Comply with the New Law?
Employers that violate the E-Verify requirements three (3) times within a 24-month period may face fines of $1,000 per day until compliance is accomplished.
If a violation occurs within 24 months of a previous violation, the employer’s business license may be revoked or suspended.
There are also state-based penalties on employers who knowingly employ, hire, recruit, or refer for employment noncitizens lacking work authorization.
With the compliance date quickly approaching, covered employers should promptly enroll and familiarize themselves with the E-Verify system to meet the requirements outlined by the new law.