As a Florida employer, understanding and adhering to labor laws is crucial, especially regarding employment eligibility verification. Starting July 1, a new law requires private employers with at least 25 employees to use E-Verify during their hiring process. So, what does this mean for you, and how should you prepare?
E-Verify: An Essential Verification Tool
E-Verify is an online tool operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It allows employers to verify employment eligibility for their new hires electronically.
Once you’ve completed Form I-9 for a new hire, you can use E-Verify to confirm their employment authorization. The tool is user-friendly and efficient, utilizing information from the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security to confirm records and identity.
Private employers in Florida with a minimum of 25 employees must, by law, use E-Verify. Previously, this requirement was limited to public and private employers working with state and local governments.
The new law comes with obligations and benefits for employers. Here’s what you need to know:
The law takes effect on July 1, and you must use the E-Verify system in addition to completing Form I-9 for all new employees hired on or after this date.
You must keep a copy of the documentation and any official verification for at least three years.
Using E-Verify establishes that you have not knowingly employed an unauthorized worker.
You must certify compliance each year when contributing to or reimbursing the state’s unemployment compensation or reemployment assistance system.
Noncompliance will result in penalties starting July 1, 2024. However, businesses will receive a 30-day notice to rectify the situation before fines are issued.
For Small Businesses:
While businesses with 25 or more employees must now incorporate the E-Verify system into their hiring processes, smaller companies have a degree of flexibility. If your business employs fewer than 25 people, you can continue using only Form I-9 for employment eligibility verification.
While using the E-Verify system is not restricted to larger companies. As a small business, you may voluntarily opt to use E-Verify in addition to the Form I-9. By opting in, you have increased protection since it creates a presumption that you have not knowingly hired unauthorized workers. This protective measure can be beneficial in demonstrating good faith should you face scrutiny.
Moreover, using E-Verify voluntarily, you can submit annual certifications to document this choice. This action provides an added layer of security and evidences your commitment to employing only those authorized to work in the United States.
As you work towards compliance, you may need skilled laborers ready to work. At Enterprise Staffing, we can help connect you with qualified professionals in fields like commercial and industrial electricians, plumbers, disaster recovery workers, and construction. With our support, you can ensure that your business remains productive and compliant, even as labor laws evolve.
Making the Switch to E-Verify
Transitioning to E-Verify might seem overwhelming, but it’s a manageable process. Start by visiting the official E-Verify website and enroll your business. Remember the new requirements and proactively adjust your onboarding processes to include E-Verify checks.
Like this new E-Verify requirement, staying informed about labor laws helps protect your business from noncompliance penalties. At Enterprise Staffing, we’re here to support you, whether you’re evaluating temp-to-perm hires or navigating the challenges of finding laborers during a labor shortage.
The world of employment can seem full of complexities. Still, you can confidently navigate these changes with a solid understanding of your responsibilities and a little help from Enterprise Staffing.
Importance of Being Compliant
With the expansion of the E-Verify requirement, adherence is no longer an option but a legal obligation for businesses with 25 or more employees. Compliance prevents legal complications and ensures that you’re operating within the boundaries of the law. The transition might be challenging, but it’s necessary to maintain a legal and secure working environment.
The new law offers a rebuttable presumption that employers using the E-Verify system have not knowingly employed unauthorized workers. Utilizing E-Verify helps maintain compliance and protects from legal repercussions, assuming good faith usage.
Preparing for the Transition
The transition to the new law might seem complex, but preparation is the key to a smooth transition. Make sure to:
Educate Yourself and Your HR Team
Your HR team should clearly understand the new law and its requirements. Familiarize yourself with the E-Verify system, its process, and its requirements.
Review Your Onboarding Process
Revamp your hiring process to include E-Verify checks and Form I-9 verifications for new hires.
Keep a Check on Compliance Dates
The law applies to new hires after July 1, so include the E-Verify process for all new employees starting from this date.
Ensure Proper Record Retention
As part of the law, you must keep all related documentation and verification for at least three years. Make sure you have a system in place for this.
Certify Your Compliance Annually
Each year, certify your compliance when contributing to the state’s unemployment compensation or reemployment assistance system.
How Can Enterprise Staffing Help?
While navigating the complexities of the new E-Verify law, Enterprise Staffing can help you maintain productivity by connecting you with qualified professionals. We specialize in various fields like commercial and industrial electricians, plumbers, disaster recovery workers, and construction.
We also debunk the myths of temp work and support you in hiring the right people. Let us handle your staffing needs while you focus on E-Verify compliance.
While the E-Verify requirement may seem complex, understanding and preparing for the new law can ease the transition. Stay informed, train your team, adjust your hiring processes, and ensure your business remains compliant. With a reliable partner like Enterprise Staffing, you can continue to hire and manage your workforce confidently and legally.