Client Alert: Florida-Specific Employer I-9 Requirements

As of January 1, 2021, any company employing individuals in Florida are required to perform additional steps in the I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification Process (I-9 compliance) beyond what is normally required of all US employers.

It is important to note that for I-9 compliance purposes, remunerating an individual as a “contractor” does not always relieve the employer of I-9 compliance for that individual. Whether or not someone is an “employee” or a “contractor” for I-9 purposes is based on numerous factors and attempting to avoid I-9 compliance by paying an individual as an contractor can result in civil or criminal penalties for the employer.

The new Florida law, SB 664 Verification of Employment Eligibility, signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in June 2020, requires that in addition to the normal I-9 compliance requirements under US federal law, employers must complete the following additional step for new hires:

  1. Complete verifications in the E-Verify system, which has its own advantages and disadvantages for employers; OR
  2. Retain copies of the I-9 List A or List B and List C original documents presented by the employee during I-9 completion for three (3) years after the date of hire or one (1) year after termination, whichever is later.

For some employers, who already participate in E-Verify or who keep employment eligibility documentation as part of their normal I-9 program, there will be no significant change.

To learn more about I-9 compliance, please see our previous blogs, watch our I-9 training webinar recordings through our industry-leading subscription service,  Moodys Tax +, or contact our immigration team.