Hindsight is 2020 but preparation is key. In a year full of
first impressions, uncertainty, and surprise, it can be difficult to look to
the New Year with optimism. Did you know that on January 1, 2021,
Florida’s new “Verification of Employment Eligibility” statute will go into
effect? Understanding the requirements
can be intimidating and stressful, but preparation is the key to complying with
Florida’s new requirements.
The E-Verify program was first introduced as a federal
program to prohibit employers from hiring an individual for employment knowing
that the individual is not authorized to work in the United States. For most
employers, using the E-Verify program was voluntary. Instead, employers were
required to retain a completed Form I-9 for every person they hired for
employment. However, Florida’s new E-Verify law creates a new set of
On June 30, 2020, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis passed a
hybrid version of a mandatory E-Verify law that goes into effect on January
1, 2021. It is important to recognize that this law does not replace
the Form I-9. Employers are still required to complete and retain the Form I-9
in either paper or electronic format.
Florida’s New Law Require?
From the outset, it is imperative to understand that there
are varying requirements depending on your employer classification. E-Verify is
mandatory for all public employers and only certain
private employers. E-Verify is optional for all other private
employers. Instead, Private Employers are required to retain Form
I-9 and the identification documentation used to complete Form I-9.
Public employers include any government agency, including
local school districts, public universities, colleges, and state and local
agencies, as well as their private contractors. Please remember, all public employers
are required to enroll in and use the E-Verify system. No public
contract can be entered into without an E-Verify certificate. Any subcontractor
working on a public contract must provide an affidavit stating that the
subcontractor does not employ, contract, or subcontract with unauthorized
Private employers are any non-governmental businesses that
(1) do not have a contract with a public employer, and (2) do not apply for
taxpayer-funded incentives through the state Department of Economic Opportunity
(“DEO”). Private employers are not required to use the E-Verify
system. Instead, Private Employers must retain Form I-9 and
maintain copies of the identification documents used to complete Form I-9 for all
active employees and three years after the date of hire for any former
Managing E-Verify and Form I-9 Requirements
Preparation is key. Therefore, it is recommended that you
train managers and human resources staff on the work authorization process,
clearly communicate to new hires their responsibilities related to confirming
their work authorization, and securely store I-9s and ID documents
appropriately for the required retention period.
If you need any assistance navigating Florida’s New Mandatory
Employment Eligibility Requirements, please contact an MBA Consultant today at 1-888-622-6460.
Click here for the webinar.