Immediately after being sworn-in as Florida’s Governor on Tuesday, Rick Scott signed several executive orders, including Executive Order 11-02, which will require state agencies to use E-Verify for all current and prospective agency employees. Perhaps more importantly for our readers, the Executive Order also requires all employers who are state contractors to use E-Verify to check the work eligibility status of anyone employed in Florida during the contract term, and anyone (including subcontractors) hired to perform work pursuant to the state contract.
E-Verify is an online system provided by the Department of Homeland Security that allows employers to check the eligibility of an employee to work in the United States. It is currently mandatory for most federal contractors in a handful of states. Until now, it was not mandatory for employers (other than federal contractors) in Florida. It will be interesting to see whether Governor Scott eventually pushes to require all private employers to use E-Verify, a promise he made on the campaign trail. For now, however, only state agencies, state contractors, and state subcontractors will be affected.
The text of the Executive Order instructs state agencies to include the E-Verify requirement for all state contractors and subcontractors expressly as a condition of state contracts. Based on this wording, it appears this requirement will only affect new state contracts.
Employers who hold state contracts should pay close attention as this requirement takes effect. For more general information on E-Verify, check out the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services websites.