On January 1, Section 448.095 of the Florida Statutes took effect. Much of the attention on the new statute has focused on the requirement that public employers and contractors and subcontractors enroll in and use the federal government’s E-Verify system. However, the statute also imposes an obligation on private employers that goes beyond the federal regulations governing the Form I-9 process.
The E-Verify Requirement
Beginning January 1, 2021, every public employer, contractor, and subcontractor must register with and use E-Verify to verify the work authorization of all newly hired employees. A contractor is a person or entity that has entered into or is attempting to enter into a contract with a public employer to provide labor, supplies, or services to the public employer in exchange for salary, wages, or other remuneration. A public employer includes any state, regional, county, local or municipal government, public school, community college, or state university.
The Statute’s Impact on Private Employers
Beginning January 1, 2021, private employers must verify the employment authorization of any newly hired employee. The private employer must verify employment eligibility either (1) using the E-Verify system or (2) requiring the person to provide the same documentation required by the Form I-9 process and retain a copy of the documentation for three years.