Criminal history records from various counties are collected for state-wide criminal background checks. All counties that submit criminal history information to Florida’s state-wide criminal history repository are searched by a Florida background check service. This kind of search is frequently used by Florida employers to determine whether applicants have criminal histories outside of their home counties.
Depending on the positions they are hiring for and the applicable federal, state, and local laws, employers in Florida may conduct a variety of background checks. Federal, national, state, and county records, among other sources, may be searched during these screenings. Verifying a candidate’s employment to ensure they are accurately describing their prior employment may be included in Florida background checks for employment.
Verification of education is done to confirm attendance at schools and degree completion.
Drug testing to check if there are any drugs present. Employers in Florida who implement a drug-free workplace policy in accordance with state regulations may be eligible for discounts on workers’ compensation insurance.
Driving records checks to look up information like the status of a driver’s license, the license class, and moving violations in state motor vehicle records (MVR). MVR checks are frequently required for positions requiring the use of a company vehicle or other equipment.
Florida Background Check Laws
Florida’s state law does not restrict employers’ ability to perform criminal background checks, in contrast to some other states. Although some counties and cities have their own ban-the-box and fair hiring laws, there are no statewide ban-the-box or fair hiring laws in Florida.
In fact, Florida encourages employers to conduct background checks by providing them with defenses against accusations of careless hiring. Florida law presumes that an employer did not make a mistake in hiring if it conducts a background investigation that includes a criminal records check, finds nothing that disqualifies the candidate, and hires or promotes the individual.
When conducting employment background checks on potential employees, employers are required to adhere to federal regulations. The two most significant federal background check laws are listed below:
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
This rule is fundamental to background checks conducted prior to employment. Employment discrimination based on an applicant’s or employer’s characteristics is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
This means that before making a hiring decision based solely on a candidate’s criminal history, an employer must review convictions relevant to the job.
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
To safeguard and protect consumers’ privacy in the data gathered by consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) and potential employers, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
An employer must submit their application and receive written approval from them before conducting background checks. The use of applicant background check data by employers is also governed by this rule.
Before making a decision, an employer must complete the adverse action process if a background check results in them deciding not to hire a candidate.
Types of Background Checks in Florida
There are two types of background checks in Florida:
Level 1 Background Investigation
A Level 1 background check in Florida only searches records based on the job candidate’s name for state agencies and regulated industries (versus fingerprints, which are used in a Level 2 check). A Level 1 check may, but need not, contain the following:
- checking the history of employment
- nationwide criminal history check
- Analyzing information from the Dru Sjodin National Sexual Offender Public Website
Employing organizations may also decide to use neighborhood law enforcement organizations to run local criminal history checks. A Level 1 background investigation may show that a job applicant has a criminal history, but it won’t include information on the specific offenses.
Level 2 Background Check
A Level 2 background check in Florida includes a fingerprint-based check of local and federal criminal records and is also required for state agencies and regulated industries. These more extensive searches may turn up information that a name-based Level 1 background check might miss. Florida Department of Law Enforcement is responsible for state record searches; the Federal Bureau of Investigation is responsible for national record searches.
In some circumstances, local criminal records kept by local law enforcement agencies may also be included in Level 2 checks. A separate check of the sex offender registry is not required because a Level 2 check will also reveal whether a candidate is a designated sex offender, either in Florida or on the national registry.
Only state agencies and employers in specific industries are required to conduct Level 1 and Level 2 background checks in Florida. Most businesses in Florida are able to use a CRA like GoodHire, backgroundchecks, iprospectcheck, stateofflorida, to conduct routine employment screening.
Florida law offers employers strong incentives to thoroughly investigate applicants on a Florida background check. Utilizing this quality, you can easily confirm your candidates.