Florida Background Checks laws & HR compliance analysis

Florida Background Checks: What you need to know

There are a number of ways for employers to gather information on the background of an applicant for employment. Employers may simply call an applicant's former employer to confirm the applicant's dates of employment and title and to try to obtain a more detailed reference from a supervisor. However, more and more frequently, employers are hiring third parties to conduct background checks on applicants who have been offered employment. In addition, depending on the nature of the position, employers are requesting reports about an applicant's driving record, criminal record, and/or credit history. There are often legal limits on employers' obtaining and using this type of information. When employers hire a third party to conduct a background check or to obtain reports from outside agencies, such reports are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state laws. In Florida, employers must comply with laws concerning criminal background checks, arrests and convictions, and driver's record information.
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An individual may not be barred from a job with a public employer because of a conviction except for convictions for felonies and first degree misdemeanors that are directly related to the specific job. This prohibition does not apply to law enforcement, fire fighting, and corrections (FL Stat. Sec. 112.011). Those convicted of drug offenses must undergo rehabilitation to qualify for public employment (FL Stat. Sec. 775.16). All records related to an applicant's or employee's criminal background must be kept confidential by the employer. In addition, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) takes the position that it is a violation of ...

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