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Employers that are either located in Florida or hiring Florida residents must abide by the Federal FCRA, and applicable Florida state employment laws.
This page was created to provide a simple explanation of what an end-user of a background screening report (also known as consumer report) can use in order to be in compliance with Florida state laws. This page also contains steps an end-user must take to stay in compliance with Florida state laws.
Please keep in mind that the EEOC must always be taken into consideration when a hiring decision is to be made. The EEOC has provided guidance on how employers can use criminal records during the hiring process. This regulation was issued on April 25, 2012. The EEOC requires employers to individually review each applicant or employee that may be disqualified due to a criminal record. This also follows the regulations set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, the EEOC wants to undertake an adverse action process similar to that of the FCRA. They want to add a pre-adverse action process of their own. Although employers already have an adverse action process that is specific to information contained in consumer reports, the EEOC's adverse action process may be different.
The information that is provided on this page does not discuss requirements under the EEOC nor does it explain how to use criminal records that fall under the regulation of the EEOC. It is suggested that compliance with the EEOC be discussed with legal counsel.
For more detailed information on Florida state laws, please consult your legal counsel.
This state follows the regulations and standards for hiring policies as set forth by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. There are no additional state or local employment screening laws to consider. Please keep in mind that laws are always changing, and we recommend that you seek legal counsel for the most up-to-date legal information.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a set of federal guidelines that helps regulate hiring practices. The FCRA was created to ensure privacy, accuracy, and fairness of consumer information. The FCRA accomplishes this by having a set standard for collecting, disseminating, and using consumer information.
Employers obtaining consumer reports for background screening purposes must follow specific procedures. For example, employers must disclose to the candidate what the background screening is, what information it includes, and how they intend to use it. They must obtain the written consent of the candidate before obtaining a background screening. They may not misuse the information contained in the background screening. There are also strict procedures an employer must follow should they decide not to hire a potential candidate based on the information in the background screening.
The purpose of the FCRA is to help protect employers, employees, and potential job candidates.
This material is time sensitive. Contact us for updates. This information is subject to frequent change through legislative and court action.
All materials in this page and accompanying information are for general educational purposes and not intended to provide legal, scientific or medical advice. Consult with an appropriate professional to address specific issues.
No additional “Ban the Box” state or local laws to consider. Please keep in mind that laws are always changing, and we recommend that you seek legal counsel for the most up-to-date legal information.
You have a right to place a “security freeze” on your consumer report, which will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing any information in your consumer report without your express authorization. A security freeze must be requested in writing by certified mail to a consumer reporting agency. The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent.
YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT USING A SECURITY FREEZE TO CONTROL ACCESS TO THE PERSONAL AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION IN YOUR CONSUMER REPORT MAY DELAY, INTERFERE WITH, OR PROHIBIT THE TIMELY APPROVAL OF ANY SUBSEQUENT REQUEST OR APPLICATION YOU MAKE REGARDING A NEW LOAN, CREDIT, MORTGAGE, INSURANCE, GOVERNMENT SERVICES OR PAYMENTS, RENTAL HOUSING, EMPLOYMENT, INVESTMENT, LICENSE, CELLULAR PHONE, UTILITIES,
DIGITAL SIGNATURE, INTERNET CREDIT CARD TRANSACTION, OR OTHER SERVICES, INCLUDING AN EXTENSION OF CREDIT AT POINT OF SALE.
When you place a security freeze on your consumer report, you will be provided a personal identification number or password to use if you choose to remove the freeze on your consumer report or authorize the release of your consumer report for a designated period of time after the security freeze is in place. To provide that authorization, you must contact the consumer reporting agency and provide all of the following:
A consumer reporting agency must authorize the release of your consumer report no later than 3 business days after receiving the above information. A security freeze does not apply to a person or entity, or its affiliates, or collection agencies acting on behalf of the person or entity, with which you have an existing account that requests information in your consumer report for the purposes of reviewing or collecting the account. Reviewing the account includes activities related to account maintenance, monitoring, credit line increases, and account upgrades and enhancements.
You have the right to bring a civil action against anyone, including a consumer reporting agency, who fails to comply with the provisions of s. 501.005, Florida Statutes, which governs the placing of a consumer report security freeze on your consumer report.
Hargrett v. Amazon
Plaintiff claims that Amazon did not have a disclosure form completely separate from any other form. There was a liability waiver as an extension of the disclosure form.
This case will proceed. The Court noted the persuasive authority regarding the plaintiff suffering an actual harm due to these forms being combined. The harm is not receiving the information needed as required under the FCRA. This case is pending.
Employers need to ensure that their disclosure forms consist only of the disclosure, and there are no extensions or language attached to that form that can be construed as two forms being placed together.
Jones v. Waffle House, Inc.
Plaintiff claims that Waffle House denied him employment but never provided him with a copy of the background report they ran on him and that they never gave him the opportunity to dispute the accuracy or completeness of the report as they were required to do by the FCRA.
Moved to arbitration. Jones signed a binding arbitration agreement, so the case must be settled through arbitration.
Employers must ensure that they follow proper adverse action procedures when making a negative hiring decision.
Speer v. Whole Foods Market Group, Inc
Plaintiff claims that Whole Foods did not properly disclose that employees were consenting to background screenings in the job application form.
Settlement. Speer was the lead plaintiff in this class action lawsuit.
Employers must ensure that they are following strict procedures adhering to the disclosure and authorization requirements set forth by the FCRA.
Alvarez v. Dave and Busters
Plaintiff claims that Dave and Busters did not provide him with a copy of the background screening report or give him any opportunity to review, correct any inaccuracies, and discuss the report with the potential employer before the job offer was revoked, in violation of the FCRA.
Settlement. Alvarez was the lead plaintiff in this class action lawsuit.
Employers must review the entire background screening report on an applicant before making a hiring decision, and must follow proper adverse action procedures if making a negative hiring decision. This includes allowing the applicant to review, correct an inaccuracies, and discuss the information found within the screening report.
Jones, et al. v. Waffle House Inc., et al.
Plaintiffs allege that Waffle House did not provide them with proper disclosures before initiating a background screening report.
Employers must ensure they follow strict procedures complying with the FCRA’s requirements for disclosure and authorization as well as adverse action.