A new Florida law imposes strict new requirements on employers in connection with the hiring of immigrants in the state. The new legislation, known as Senate Bill 1718, is already having a significant impact on the thoroughbred racing industry nationwide. Partner L.J. D’Arrigo, co-leader of the Harris Beach Immigration Law Practice Group, discussed the provisions of the law recently with Thoroughbred Daily News – and what it means for trainers, farm managers, workers and others.
L.J. told reporter Daniel Ross that he believes statutory language is vague, making it difficult to know what the law requires. For example, the bill states that the employer would only be at risk of prosecution if they know, or “reasonably” should have known, that the employee is undocumented. L.J.’s best advice: take nothing for granted, he said in the article.
“You have to be thinking about, ‘who are we driving into the state if they get pulled over by the police and asked for documentation to prove legal status?’” said D’Arrigo. “If they’re unable to prove legal status, there’s liability–the employer could ultimately be responsible.”
The law takes effect July 1, 2023 and imposes strict changes on how businesses in Florida can hire and inflicts penalties on individuals who transport immigrants into the state without them being “inspected.” The law takes effect July 1, 2023. The law will lead to new hiring protocols backed by penalties for non-compliance, including felony charges if someone is found to engage in “human smuggling” as very broadly defined by this law.
A key provision under the law is the mandatory E-Verify requirement, which requires private employers that employ 25 or more workers to use E-Verify when hiring new employees. E-Verify is an internet-based federal database that can quickly confirm an individual’s eligibility to work in the United States.
To learn more about Florida Senate Bill 1718, read L.J.’s recent legal alert.