Biz Rules

By Beau Denton September 30, 2011

“There are no criminal or civil penalties since the order is not a law, but penalties still could occur.”On May 27, Gov. Rick Scott issued an executive order requiring that businesses that contract with the state of Florida verify their employees’ legal status through E-Verify, a free online service run by the federal government.

Kim Walker, a labor and employment attorney at Williams Parker in Sarasota, says all of your employees—not just those working on that contract—must pass through E-Verify. However, if you subcontract any work, only those employees of the subcontractor who are working directly on the contract will have to be verified.

E-Verify has been criticized. Forged documentation can trick the system, while a simple typo might unnecessarily flag an eligible employee. A federal Government Accountability Office report found that, of the employees flagged as ineligible, 22 percent were legal—meaning employers may have to spend time weeding out false positives. Proponents point out that accuracy has improved since initial criticisms last year.

Certain aspects of the governor’s order, like consequences for noncompliance, are not yet clear. “There are no criminal or civil penalties” since the order is not a law, says Walker, “but penalties could flow from an alleged breach of contract.” The rule also states that it only applies if the contracted goods or services are “in excess of nominal value,” but Walker adds that nominal value is never defined. Still, it is time to start familiarizing yourself with E-Verify, which is moving quickly toward widespread implementation.

Read Gov. Scott’s executive order 11-116 online:, and try E-Verify for yourself at



“What do we have to lose by taxing the super rich? We already have unemployment/underemployment at 25 percent. We have two failed parties that continue their partisan fighting as all of us little people struggle to pay our bills.”

Mike Payne of Sarasota Homes, in response to our Facebook post about Warren Buffett’s editorial that the very rich should pay more taxes.


$37.7 million

Amount BP has awarded to 2,814 claimants in Sarasota and Manatee to compensate for the 2010 oil spill as of Sept. 12, 2011.

Source: Gulf Coast Claims Facility

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