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Florida House passes sweeping new immigration bill.

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

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Below is a summation that provides details about the amendment of Section 448.095 of the Florida Statutes that relate to the employment eligibility of contractors, employees, and subcontractors. Here are the important points from the bill affecting contractors:

• The definition of terms like "contractor," "employee," "E-Verify system," "public agency," "subcontractor," and "unauthorized alien" is explained in this section.

• Employers must verify new employees' employment eligibility within three business days using the E-Verify system, which public agencies must use for all new employees from July 1, 2023. Private employers with 25 or more employees must also use the E-Verify system for new employees from July 1, 2023.

• If the E-Verify system is unavailable for three business days, employers must use the Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9) to verify employment eligibility. Employers must retain documentation for at least three years.

• Employers are not allowed to employ an unauthorized alien after obtaining knowledge that a person is or has become an unauthorized alien.

• Employee leasing companies are exempted from verifying the employment eligibility of new client company employees if they have a written agreement placing the obligation for compliance with the client company.

• Public agencies, contractors, and subcontractors must use the E-Verify system to verify the work authorization status of all new employees. Contractors must maintain a copy of the affidavit provided by the subcontractor stating that they do not employ, contract with, or subcontract with an unauthorized alien.

• If a public agency or contractor has a good faith belief that a person or an entity with which it is contracting has knowingly violated s. 448.09(1), they must terminate the contract with that person or entity.

• The Department of Economic Opportunity must notify the employer of the determination of noncompliance if they failed to use the E-Verify system to verify employment eligibility. Fines may be imposed for noncompliance, and licenses may be suspended.

• The section must be enforced without regard to race, color, or national origin, and in a manner consistent with any applicable federal laws or regulations. The use of the E-Verify system is not required in any federal fiscal year in which the system is not funded. The section will expire 60 days after the E-Verify system is no longer a pilot program, and the Federal Government requires the use of the E-Verify system by all employers in the United States.

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