Understanding the implications of this new law is crucial for ensuring your business stays compliant and successful.
As a business owner, it’s important to stay up-to-date with any changes in laws or regulations that might affect your company. One such change coming to Florida on July 1st, 2023 is the implementation of Florida SB 1718. But what exactly is it, and how might it impact your business?
At Vested HR, our team of experts is here to help answer those questions. In this guide, we’ll provide an overview of what this new law entails and explain how it could potentially affect Florida business. Let’s dive in.
What is Florida SB 1718?
Florida SB 1718 is an immigration bill that was first introduced in the Florida Senate in March 2021 and was signed into law by Governor Ron Desantis on May 10th, 2023. The bill aims to reform Florida’s approach to immigration by requiring state and local government officials to comply with federal immigration laws and regulations. It also seeks to establish new penalties for those who violate these laws.
This legislation requires state agencies and law enforcement officials to cooperate with federal authorities on matters related to immigration, including sharing information on individuals who may be in violation of federal law.
SB 1718 will take effect on July 1, 2023.
But how will this impact your business? Let’s take a look at what changes are on the horizon with the implementation of this new law.
What Does Florida SB 1718 Entail?
In essence, this new law aims to crack down on illegal immigration by strengthening existing laws against sanctuary cities and undocumented immigrants.
Changes to be aware of include:
The new E-Verify requirement obligates private employers with 25 or more employees to use E-Verify to check the employment eligibility of all employees. It will also be required that employers complete Form I-9.
If an employer fails to use E-Verify, they will incur fines of $1,000 per day. These penalties will go into effect on July 1st, 2024.
Business License Suspensions or Revocations
If a business knowingly employs illegal aliens, they are in jeopardy of having their business license suspended or revoked. This law also makes it a felony for an unauthorized alien to use a fake ID to gain employment.
It should be noted that the government will assume a company has not deliberately hired undocumented workers if they use the E-Verify system in good faith.
Enhanced Human Smuggling Penalties
Human smuggling is transporting someone into Florida with the knowledge that they entered the country illegally, or with reasonable cause to believe that they did.
SB 1718 enhances the penalties for human smuggling from a third-degree felony with 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine per offense to a second-degree felony with a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.
Expansion of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Mission
The FDLE’s goal to combat terrorism has been broadened to include working with the federal government to enforce immigration laws within or affecting Florida, as well as assisting in such efforts.
More Funding for Relocation
$12 million will be provided to maintain the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program, which will be used to transfer illegal immigrants to sanctuary jurisdictions.
Bans on ID Issuance
The new law prohibits municipal authorities and NGOs from issuing identification cards to unauthorized immigrants. Additionally, it voids any out-of-state driver’s licenses and permits given only to undocumented immigrants.
Beginning July 1st, 2023, hospitals that accept Medicaid must ask patients about their citizenship and disclose the cost of their medical care.
Note: Hospitals should NOT refuse treatment and the information provided to governmental agencies will not reveal the identities of the patients.
What is E-Verify?
E-Verify is a web-based system in which employers will electronically confirm the employment eligibility of employees.
The employee’s Form I-9 is used to provide information for E-Verify, which then electronically compares that data to records held by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Next Steps to Stay Compliant
Employers will need to perform an immediate assessment of their workforce to make sure that, if necessary, they:
- Are enrolled with E-Verify (which mandates that, if they haven’t already, employers keep employee records on file for three years following the date of hire).
- Complete an internal examination of the current I-9 forms and supporting documents, hiring policies, onboarding procedures, and resolution processes.
- Certify that all hiring practices adhere to the new standards and that a framework for handling complaints and other related issues is in place.
Bottom Line? To stay compliant, managers, HR specialists, and hiring or onboarding personnel in Florida should all receive training on E-Verify and the significance of properly analyzing I-9 documentation.
Vested HR offers an E-Verify service to assist our clients in staying compliant. Please reach out to your customer service representative to get started.
More Compliance > How Does a PEO Simplify HR Compliance?
Stay Compliant in an Ever-Changing Work Environment
With regulations constantly evolving, it can be overwhelming to keep up with the latest changes. That’s what our team at Vested HR is here for! We are in(Vested) in ensuring that your business remains compliant to promote growth and success.
Don’t let compliance concerns hold you back—whether you’re a current client or looking for HR help, our locally-known, and nationally-recognized PEO team can help you stay on track. Call us at (844) 928-0925 or (727) 474-2114 for an evaluation today!