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Changes Coming for I9 Verifications in Florida Mandatory E-Verify Implementation
As the United States continues to refine its immigration policies, Florida is taking a significant step toward enhancing employment eligibility verification. Starting July 1, 2023, companies with 25 or more employees in the state are now required to use the E-Verify system to check the identity and eligibility of new employees. This blog post will explore the key points regarding this new law and its implications for businesses in Florida.
Florida switched to E-Verify to create a more reliable verification process and ensure compliance with Federal and State laws. Companies will have one year before they face penalties for failing to incorporate E-Verify into their employee verification process. Small companies with 25 employees or less are not subject to the E-Verify requirement in Florida. They may continue using online notaries to verify their employee's eligibility to work in the United States.
Why Employers Must Verify Their Employee's Eligibility to Work In The United States Under federal and state law, it is unlawful to knowingly employ a foreign national who is not work authorized under US immigration laws. Employers are responsible for hiring individuals who are legally authorized to work in the United States. This helps maintain the integrity of the labor market and protects the rights of American workers.
Changes to Florida's Eligibility Verification Starting July 1, 2023, private companies with over 25 employees must use E-Verify. Starting on July 1, 2023, Florida requires private employers with 25 or more employees to use the E-Verify system to strengthen the verification process. E-Verify is an internet-based system that compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, against government records to confirm their employment eligibility. By electronically verifying the work authorization of new employees, companies can ensure they are hiring individuals with the legal right to work in the United States.
Employers must certify E-Verify participation on annual returns of their unemployment compensation or reemployment assistance system. By certifying their participation in the E-Verify program, employers demonstrate their commitment to complying with immigration laws and verifying the work eligibility of their employees.
Using the E-Verify system establishes a rebuttable presumption that an employer has not knowingly employed an unauthorized worker. Utilizing the E-Verify system creates a legal presumption that an employer has made a good-faith effort to verify the work authorization of their employees. This presumption can help protect businesses from penalties if unauthorized workers are later discovered.
Who Must Follow Florida's New Eligibility Verification Law Private employers with 25 or more employees must use E-Verify for all new hires: Under the new law, private employers with 25 or more employees must use E-Verify for all new hires. The term "employee" refers to individuals filling permanent positions under the employer's control. This requirement also covers part-time employees in permanent positions. However, independent contractors and casual laborers are exempt from this requirement.
Employers must retain supporting documentation verifying work authorization for at least three years, as per existing I-9 retention requirements. A company's failure to follow the new E-Verify requirement can result in significant penalties.
Penalties for Failing to Comply with the E-Verify Requirement The penalties for non-compliance with the E-Verify requirement will go into effect from July 1, 2024. It is important for employers to understand the potential consequences of failing to comply with the law. To ensure transparency and due process, the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) will provide employers with a notice of non-compliance before issuing any penalties. This notice will grant employers 30 days to address non-compliance issues and take corrective measures.
The penalties for non-compliance can vary based on the severity and recurrence of the violation. For a first violation, employers may face a one-year probation period and be required to provide quarterly reports to the DEO. Repeat violations within 24 months can result in the suspension or revocation of all licenses held by the employer, with the length of suspension determined by the number of unauthorized workers found. In the case of three violations within 24 months, a daily fine of $1,000 may be imposed until the violation is cured.
The Florida legislature aims to strike a balance between enforcement and support for employers to comply with the E-Verify requirement. By providing a notice and cure period, employers have an opportunity to rectify any non-compliance issues and implement the necessary measures to meet the mandated standards.
Small Companies Are Exempt from Florida's New Verification Law and Can Use Remote Online Notaries While the new law mandates the use of E-Verify for larger companies, small businesses can still leverage the convenience of remote online notaries for I-9 verifications. Remote online notaries allow employers to verify documents and complete Form I-9 electronically, making the process more efficient. This option is particularly beneficial for small businesses with limited resources or those operating in remote areas, as it eliminates the need for in-person verification while ensuring compliance with the I-9 requirements.
The utilization of remote online notaries aligns with the broader trend of digital transformation in various industries. It simplifies the verification process, reduces administrative burdens, and enhances overall efficiency. Employers should explore reputable remote online notary services that adhere to the necessary security and compliance standards to ensure a smooth and compliant I-9 verification process.
Notarize Genie Is Still A Resource for Small Companies Looking to Use Remote Online Notaries as Authorized Personnel While companies with over 25 employees must use E-Verify, small companies may still use an authorized person to verify their worker's eligibility to work in the United States. Remote online notaries are authorized to verify the employee's eligibility and fill out the I-9 form on the company's behalf.
Companies looking to save time and money should reach out to Notarize Genie for help with the verification process. We have a pool of talented notaries ready to help verify your employee’s employment eligibility and fill out the I-9. For more information, companies can check out our website at www.notarizegenie.com or give us a call at (800) 381-8240.