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Florida rang in the new year by implementing its own new E-Verify and Form I-9 documentation requirements. As of Jan. 1, 2021, Florida employers are required to retain copies of the identification and employment authorization documents presented by new hires in connection with the Form I-9 process that occurs during onboarding. While some companies may keep copies of I-9 documents as part of their existing process, the new law now makes it mandatory for companies to keep copies of I-9 documents.

Compliance with the law is required in order to do business in Florida. Florida employers must provide copies of Form I-9 supporting documentation if requested by Florida government officials. If found in violation, employers have 30 days to provide an affidavit confirming (1) that it has terminated all unauthorized employees in Florida, (2) that it will not intentionally or knowingly employ unauthorized workers in Florida, and (3) that it will comply with Florida’s I-9 documentation retention requirements. If the employer does not provide the required affidavit, its business license(s) will be suspended; repeated violations of the affidavit requirement may result in loss of business license(s).

Going forward, Florida employers should ensure they are keeping copies of Form I-9 documents provided by new hires during the onboarding process and that their HR policies reflect that they retain copies of Form I-9 documents.

Florida is not the only state that has its own I-9 and E-Verify requirements.