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Florida employers, landlords/property managers, and firearms dealers all find themselves in need of ordering background checks for prospective employees, tenants, and customers. Although background checks may be required to be compliant with various regulations, they are also important to mitigate risks at the business level. A background check allows you to get a better picture of who you are dealing with before you hire someone, rent someone your property, or sell them a weapon.
A background check describes the process used to verify the identity and background of a potential job applicant, renter, or another person, based on information provided by the person, such as their Social Security number, birthday, and in some instances, fingerprints. It may look at a person’s criminal and employment history, address history, educational attainment, and credit. In addition, a background check may pull information about a person’s motor vehicle and driving history. In some instances, interviews with people who know the individual may be obtained.
Background checks are based on information pulled from the public domain, including databased maintained by various law enforcement agencies. Depending on the type of background check desired, it may be based solely on information available in Florida databases or local, state, and federal sources.
Although federal statutory requirements govern background checks in general, the state of Florida has additional laws on the books that you should be aware of. These include:
In the state of Florida, there are two types of background checks, including Level 1 and Level 2 inquiries. These two background check types are legally defined under Fla. Stat. Ch. 435.
Level 1 Background Checks. This type of check is a name-based, state-only check. This Florida background check looks into the person’s employment history, criminal history, and status on the national sex offender registry. Some Level 1 background checks may also include a credit inquiry.
Level 2 Background Checks. This is a more extensive background check than the Level 1 variety. It requires the applicant to submit to fingerprinting, and the check is run through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
A background check through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is essentially a criminal record check. It looks to see if a job applicant or other person has been arrested in the past or found guilty/pleaded guilty to a criminal charge. The FDLE background check includes a state check through the Florida Computerized Criminal History Central Repository and Florida Crime Information Center for Florida arrests and active warrants or domestic violence injunctions. It also looks at the FBI’s National Criminal History database for arrests from other states and arrests on the federal level.
Florida’s employers are limited by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in how they use the information obtained in background checks on potential employees, so it’s important that they heed these regulations and follow them closely. If not, they subject themselves to litigation under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employers should also:
Employers who fail to follow the proper procedures when obtaining a background check on potential candidates set themselves up for FCRA claims.
Some of the best background checks for Florida’s employers, landlords, and gun dealers include:
Whether you’re looking to have errors removed from your employment background check or need to find out more about a potential tenant or job applicant, our Florida FCRA attorneys can help. Trust our experienced staff to help you every step of the way. Reach out to Sharmin & Sharmin P.A. for help now by dialing 1-844-0742-7646 or clicking here.
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