Until the most recent legislative session, Florida had been one of the few Southern states that had not implemented mandatory compliance with the federal E-Verify program for state and private projects. E-Verify requires contractors and subcontractors to verify the work authorization status of newly hired employees, and to certify to the general contractor that they do not employ or contract with unauthorized aliens. Previously, all other southeastern states had adopted E-Verify for all employers, though most states in the rest of the country have only adopted limited E-Verify requirements.
Before this statute was passed, Florida had required the use of E-Verify for state projects, but only because the governor had issued an executive order requiring compliance. This legislative action now gives a statutory basis for compliance and goes into effect July 1, 2020 for projects with the state government.
Thereafter, on January 1, 2021, all contractors will be required to go through this process for all projects. To comply with this law, General Contractors will need to ensure that all of their subcontractors provide the required certificate for projects in Florida moving into next year. Employers are not required to verify the employment eligibility of current employees hired before the law goes into effect.