Hey there, employers in Florida! Have you heard the latest news? Brace yourselves because a new law is coming your way, and it’s all about E-Verify. Yeah, I know, the name might sound like a cool superhero, but it’s actually an online employment verification system. So, let’s dive in and find out what this law means for you!
Okay, let’s get serious for a moment. On May 10, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 1718 into law. Now, this bill covers various topics, but today, we’re going to focus on its impact on employment. Starting July 1, 20231, private employers with more than 25 employees will be required to use E-Verify for all new hires. Hold on to your hats, folks!
What is E-Verify?
Alright, before we go any further, let’s understand what this E-Verify thing is all about. It’s not a substitute for the I-9 process; instead, it’s an additional step in verifying employment eligibility. Employers using E-Verify input the information from the I-9 form into the system, and it checks if the employee’s information is accurate and if they’re authorized to work in the United States. Think of it as a trusty sidekick for your hiring process.
Existing E-Verify Laws in Different States
Now, here’s the thing: E-Verify isn’t a brand-new concept. Various states have already implemented their own E-Verify requirements, which means employers operating in multiple states have had to navigate a patchwork of laws. But fear not! Florida has joined the club of around 20 states that require E-Verify, so you’re not alone in this adventure.
Overview of SB 1718 and Its Implications for Employers
Alright, let’s dive into the juicy details. Under SB 1718, starting July 1, 2023, private employers with more than 25 employees must use E-Verify to ensure their new hires are authorized to work in the United States. The law also amends Florida Statute 448.095, making it clear that employers cannot employ anyone who isn’t authorized to work. It’s time to embrace your inner Sherlock Holmes and verify like never before!
E-Verify Requirements for Private Employers
So, how exactly do you comply with this new law? Well, you’ll need to hop on the E-Verify train. Remember, it’s not just for big-shot federal contractors anymore. For the private sector, it’s all about making sure each newly hired employee is legally authorized to work. You’ll need to follow the process and keep those employment eligibility records in check.
Definition of “Employee” under SB 1718
Now, let’s clarify who falls under the “employee” category. According to SB 1718, an employee is an individual in a permanent position who performs labor or services under an employer’s control or direction. Sorry, independent contractors, you’re not included in this club. But hey, if you’re cleaning houses or doing handyman work in private residences, you’re off the hook.
Exclusions from the Definition of “Employee”
Speaking of being off the hook, there are a few exceptions to the employee definition. Independent contractors, as we mentioned, get a free pass. Additionally, those hired by the owner or occupant of a private residence for casual labor, like house cleaning or handyman work, don’t need to worry about E-Verify either. Just don’t let the newfound freedom get to your head!
Use of Form I-9 in Case of E-Verify Unavailability
What if E-Verify decides to take a vacation for a few days? Well, don’t panic! If the system is unavailable for three business days after an employee starts working, you can rely on good old Form I-9 for verification. Just make sure to keep a screenshot of E-Verify’s absence each day. Document it, store it, and you’re good to go.
Documentation and Recordkeeping Requirements
Ah, paperwork, the joy of every employer’s existence. Under SB 1718, you’re required to keep your documentation game strong. Make sure you retain copies of employee-provided documents, successful E-Verify results, and those screenshots we mentioned earlier. Keep them safe for at least three years, just in case someone comes knocking on your door. It’s like building a paper fort, but less fun.
Well, folks, there you have it! The lowdown on Florida’s new E-Verify law. Remember, now, we are almost halfway through July. Get ready to embrace E-Verify and make sure your new hires are authorized to work. It might be a bit of a hassle, but hey, at least you’ll have a new superpower in your hiring process. Now, go forth, verify, and conquer the employment world!