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State of Florida Releases Guidance on New E-Verify Immigration Law

State of Florida Releases Guidance on New E-Verify Immigration Law

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During the 2023 Florida Legislative Session, a significant piece of legislation was approved that will impact employers across the state, including home health agencies. Senate Bill 1718 (SB 1718), signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis on May 10, 2023, mandates that private employers with 25 or more employees must utilize the federal E-Verify system for all new hires, effective July 1, 2023.

E-Verify is an internet-based system operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration that allows employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees. Under this new mandate, each employer utilizing the E-Verify system must certify on their first reemployment tax return, filed annually, that they have used the system to confirm the employment eligibility of each new employee.

Effective from July 1, 2024, non-compliance with the E-Verify requirement can result in several civil penalties. If the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) finds that an employer has failed to utilize E-Verify three or more times within a 24-month period, the employer may be subject to a daily fine of $1,000 until corrective action is taken (starting from the date of the DEO's determination of non-compliance). Additionally, the DEO has the authority to suspend all licenses of the employer until proof of compliance is provided.

To assist employers in understanding the requirements, the Florida Department of Revenue (FDR) has recently provided guidance through a fact sheet that includes frequently asked questions.

For further information on E-Verify requirements, employers may refer to Tax Information Publication 2373B-01 or visit the FDR Reemployment Tax webpage.

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