New Bill Requires Florida Employers to Take Extra Steps When Verifying Employee’s Employment Eligibility
By: Luis A. Silva, Esq.
On May 10, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1718 into law (“SB 1718”). SB 1718 is designed to impose sanctions on undocumented immigrants and those that aid them. Among other things, the law will require any employer with 25 or more employees to use the E-Verify system to verify a new employee’s employment eligibility within three business days of the employees’ first day of work.
Additionally, if an employer becomes aware that an individual is an undocumented worker, the employer may no longer continue to employ the undocumented employee.
Failure to comply with SB 1718 subjects the employer to various degrees of sanctions. These sanctions include a probationary period during which employers must submit to quarterly reports to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to prove compliance with SB 1718, and the suspension of all applicable licenses (including any food and liquor licenses) issued to the employer. Additionally, starting on July 1, 2024, employers that fail to utilize E-Verify may be subject to a $1000/day fine.
SB 1718 also criminally punishes individuals who knowingly or willfully transport an individual who the person knows, or reasonably should have known, entered the United States unlawfully. Doing so will result in a third-degree felony, with the charge being imposed for each individual transported. Employers who do not verify their employees’ or contractors’ status may be deemed to be in violation of this section of SB 1718.
In addition to the above, SB 1718 imposes reporting requirements on hospitalizations involving undocumented individuals. It also deems any authorization these individuals may have received to operate motor vehicles in other states invalid, and authorizes local law enforcement agencies to issue citations for driving without a license to those individuals impacted.
Florida employers are advised to consider the implications of SB 1718 when making hiring decisions and when arranging transportation for employees and contractors to and from the state.
Leech Tishman’s Immigration Group is well-versed on the implications SB 1718 will have on Florida employers. Together with the firm’s Employment & Labor Group, the firm is available to advise Florida businesses on this matter. For questions or clarification on SB 1718 and what effects the bill may have on your business, contact Luis A. Silva at 941.877.1830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Luis A. Silva is an Associate with Leech Tishman and is based in the firm’s Lakewood Ranch office. He is a member of the firm’s Estates & Trusts Practice Group, as well as the Tax Group.
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