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Florida Enacts Legislation Mandating E-Verify

On July 1, 2023, the provisions of Florida Senate Bill 1718 went into effect. The legislation was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis on May 10, 2023, and makes sweeping changes to a number of Florida statutes that primarily deal with immigration status.

Of note, private employers with 25 or more employees are now required to use the E-Verify system for new employees and penalties for noncompliance have been increased. E-Verify is a web-based system that allows enrolled employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. Use of E-Verify is not federally mandated for private companies, however, federal contractors and subcontractors are required to use the program. Several states already mandate the use of E-Verify for private companies while others require its use for contractors on public works projects. In Congress, legislation has been introduced in the House and the Senate to mandate use of the program nationwide.

Implementation of this law is also expected to have a direct impact on migrant labor availability. Reports have indicated that migrant workers have started to leave the state creating vacancies at job sites especially in the construction, waste management services, food services, and agriculture industries.