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On Wednesday, May 10, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new immigration law that will affect employers with 25 or more employees beginning July 1, 2023.

This new legislation:

  1. Requires the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to enforce penalties requiring the repayment of any economic development incentives or revocation to all applicable licenses the employer has knowingly employed an individual who is not fully authorized to work.
  2. Requires employers with 25 or more employees to use the E-Verify system to verify a new employee’s employment eligibility beginning on July 1, 2023.
  3. Prohibits counties and municipalities from providing funds to any person, entity or organization that issues identification documents to an individual who does not provide proof of lawful presence in the United States.
  4. Refuses to recognize any driver’s license issued by another state to undocumented individuals who were unable to provide proof of lawful presence in the United States when the documents were issued.
  5. Requires patients to provide immigration status on registration or admissions forms in certain hospitals.
  6. Repeals a regulation which allowed undocumented immigrants to be admitted to practice law in Florida.
  7. Defines the term Human Smuggler as any person who knowingly and willingly transports an undocumented individual into the state, who knows or who reasonably should have known. The bill also establishes criminal penalties for individuals who knowingly and willfully transport an undocumented individual into the state.

The Florida DEO is authorized to impose penalties on a person if they knowingly hire, recruit, or refer for private or public employment, an individual unauthorized to work. Civil penalties include:

  1. Requiring repayment of any economic development incentive.
  2. Placing the employer on probation for a 1-year period and require that the employer report quarterly to the DEO to demonstrate compliance.
  3. Revoking or suspending all licenses issued by a licensing agency subject to Chapter 120 of the Florida Statutes for those who violate the statute withing 24 months of a previous violation.

In addition, beginning July 1, 2023, the bill requires all employers with more than 25 employees to use the E-Verify system to verify eligibility of any new employee within three business days of the new employee’s first day of work.

Employers required to use E-Verify will also be required to certify on their annual tax returns that they comply with this requirement when contributing or reimbursing the state’s unemployment compensation or reemployment assistance system. According to federal regulations, all employers must verify the identity and employment authorization documents by completing and retaining form I-9 before creating a case in the E-Verify system.

In addition, Employers must retain a copy of the documentation provided, and any verification generated, for a minimum of three years or one year after the date of employment ends, whichever is later.

Beginning on July 1, 2024, Employers may be fined $1,000 per day if the DEO determines that an employer failed to use the E-Verify systems three or more times in any 24-month period. This is in addition to suspended licenses until the employer provides proof of compliance. This mandate applies only to new employees; it does not apply to past hires or existing employees.

For more information, please click on the following link: