The City of Gainesville in Florida recently enacted “Ban the Box” legislation called the “Fair Chance Hiring” Ordinance (No. 2022-617) that took effect upon signature to prohibit questions by any employer with 15 or more employees regarding the criminal history of an applicant in the job application process until after a conditional offer of employment has been made.
However, the Ordinance does allow an employer to conduct a criminal background check on a job applicant once a conditional offer of employment is made, but an employer can only take “adverse action” against a job applicant based on their criminal history if the employer has determined that the applicant is unsuitable for the job based on an “individual assessment.”
If an employer chooses to take adverse action based on an applicant’s criminal history, the employer must inform the applicant of the decision, provide the applicant with a copy of the criminal history relied upon, and give the applicant a reasonable opportunity to provide additional information or context about the criminal history or any related rehabilitation.
The employer must inform the applicant in writing that the adverse action was based on their criminal history and include this statement in the notice: “This notice is provided in accordance with the City of Gainesville Code of Ordinances, Chapter 14.5, Section 14.5-181, which regulates the process and timing of criminal background checks conducted on job applicants.”
For the first violation of the Ordinance, an employer will be subject to a civil penalty of $500. For each subsequent violation of the Ordinance, an employer will be subject to a civil penalty of $500. Half of any civil penalty recovered under the Ordinance shall be awarded to the complainant. A copy of the Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance (No. 2022-617) is available here.
ClearStar is a leading provider of Human Capital Integrity℠ technology specializing in background checks, drug testing, and occupational health screening. ClearStar offers criminal background checks of job applicants for employers that comply with federal, state, and local laws. To learn more about criminal background checks from ClearStar, please contact us.
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