Most employers conduct thorough background checks during their recruitment processes. If you happen to apply for a position in one of the companies in Florida, then be sure that a background check will be conducted on you.
There are several ways that companies use to get information about different applicants. Sometimes a company may decide to contact your previous employer and other referees to get a rough idea about you. This includes the people you have listed in your Curriculum Vitae as references.
In most cases, employers in Florida will hire a third-party company to carry out background checks on you. This approach is more effective to the employer because it offers comprehensive and detailed information about an applicant’s criminal record.
However, there are certain limits that stipulate how employers can acquire and utilize information from different applicants.
There are basically two types of background checks in Florida. They include;
Level 1 checks
Level one checks are conducted within a state are name-based checks. They involve a search in the history of an applicant as well as any local or at6ate criminal history. The search will also include checking if your name is on the national sex offender registry. Sometimes the search can extend up to an applicant’s credit history.
Level 2 checks
Level 2 checks need fingerprints to be taken as well as a comprehensive background check from the FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). If the company finds that an applicant has committed prohibited offenses, his or her application will be rejected.
Below is a list of prohibited offenses for level one and level two checks:
• Offenses related to sexual misconduct with a disabled client
• Offenses relating to sexual misconduct with a mentally ill patient
• Offenses related to adult abuse, exploitation, or neglect of disabled or aged persons
• Offenses relating to murder
• Relating to solicitation and conspiracy to commit a crime
These are just but a few of the prohibited offenses under level one and level two background checks. There are several other offenses that can make cause employers reject your application.
What type of information does an FDLE background check entail?
The term “background check” is commonly used by employers to refer to “criminal background checks” – something that sometimes brings confusion for recruiting companies.
The FDLE only uses information that’s accepted by the law to carry out background checks on applicants. This normally includes personal information as well as any criminal information about the applicant both on a state and federal level.
Despite the fact that some companies rely on information from FB to conduct background checks, FDLE still remains an important source for most employers in Florida.
What are the limitations or how far can background checks go in Florida?
It is true that some background checks in Florida are subjected to certain limits within the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). For example, the FCRA’s 7-year rule demands that certain criminal record information must be removed from an applicant’s history after the lapse of seven years.
These records include judgments against an applicant, civil lawsuits, paid tax liens and arrest records. The act also has more restrictions on Florida employers. The FCRA mandates all companies to:
• To get permission from a client before carrying out a background check
• Let the applicant know that the information from a background check can cause him or her to be disqualified from the job
• Give applicants a copy of the reports found on the background check
Besides, FCRA mandates employers to conducts background checks to make sure that all information in the background check is accurate and updated. Otherwise, you have a right to dispute the contents of the background check. Such action is likely to prompt the agency to start an investigation.
Is a conviction a disqualifying factor when it comes to background checks in Florida?
This is not always the case. According to the regulations set by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers can only disqualify you if the information from your background check poses a risk to the company.
EEOC however mandates employers to consider the following before taking any action:
• The seriousness of the offense in question
• The extent to which the offense relates to the job
• The period that has elapsed since the conviction took place
Employers are also encouraged to offer applicants an opportunity to give their side of the story about the conviction. As an applicant, it is always important to ensure that you understand your rights as far as background checks are concerned.