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Employers must follow strict standards when hiring immigrants

Since Florida is a popular destination for immigrants, it is imperative that employers keep tabs on the legal status of those individuals who are working for them. The state's immigration law statutes make several requirements of employers when it comes to verification and storage of workers' data.

Both federal and state laws require that employers verify the status of all employees through the use of an I-9 form. This document must be completed within 72 hours of an individual's employment and includes important information, such as the person's Social Security number, name, birth date, and proof of immigration status. These forms may be filled out and stored by employers in electronic formats as long as the records are maintained in a safe, secure, and accurate fashion. At any time, the government must be given access to the required I-9 records kept by all employers.

Employers have another potential safeguard in place with the E-Verify system. This online system allows an employer to log on and check out information provided by a potential new employee on his or her I-9 form. The system is capable of reporting whether or not an employee is eligible for employment, but may also ask the employer to contact a government agency if there is a problem. If the employee's name and Social Security number do not match, the employer is compelled to wait for further instruction from the Department of Homeland Security.

Immigration law is a sticky subject for both employers and potential employees. At any point in the verification system, a problem or computer error can keep an individual from being hired at a job. Anyone who is having trouble verifying his or her immigration status for employers may wish to contact an attorney for assistance in getting the problematic matters sorted out as quickly as possible.

Source: Findlaw, "Florida State Immigration Laws", October 03, 2014

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