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Conducting Criminal Record Checks in Florida

Filed under Hiring Workers. Fact checked on May 25, 2012.

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Employers in Florida are permitted or required to conduct criminal record checks in accordance with these rules.

Criminal background check laws cover employment for:

  • service provider personnel who have direct contact with certain minor and developmentally disabled clients
  • crisis stabilization units
  • residential treatment facilities, including residential treatment centers for children and adolescents
  • birth centers and abortion clinics
  • hospitals
  • ambulatory surgical centers, mobile surgical facilities and private utilization review agents
  • nursing homes
  • home health agencies
  • nurse registries
  • adult day care centers
  • hospices
  • clinical labs
  • multiphasic health testing centers
  • fire safety inspectors and firefighters
  • law enforcement officers
  • financial institutions
  • employees who hold positions of special trust or sensitive location
  • seaport employees

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement may require fingerprinting for criminal background investigations of state lottery vendors, retailers and employees.

The salaried staff and volunteers of nonprofit centers that make after school hours for children more productive may be required to submit fingerprints for background checks as a condition of employment.

Upon employment, noninstructional personnel hired to fill positions requiring direct contact with students in any district school system must file a set of fingerprints with a law enforcement officer or district person authorized to take fingerprints. The employee is on probation until a criminal background check is completed. Fingerprinting is required as part of the certification process for teachers and substitute teachers.

State agencies must designate the positions that they consider sensitive enough to require a background check that includes fingerprinting as a condition of employment.

Alcohol and drug treatment resource personnel must submit a set of fingerprints for a criminal background check within five days after starting work.

Fire safety inspectors, fire fighters, law enforcement, correctional officers and probation officers must submit fingerprints for criminal background checks.

Rules for Sealed Criminal Records

A person in Florida who has had a criminal record sealed may lawfully deny the events covered by the sealed record, except when the person:

  • applies for a job with a criminal justice agency or is a candidate for admission to the Florida Bar
  • seeks a license or employment working under the auspices of the Department of Children and Family Services or the Department of Juvenile Justice, or to be employed or used by such a contractor or licensee in a sensitive position having direct contact with children, the developmentally disabled, the aged, or the elderly
  • as a licensed teacher or child care worker

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