What’s A Level 2 Background Check In Florida?
With your business based in Florida, you probably understand why finding top talents can help grow your business and make profits. Top talents can help you accelerate your business growth and protect your brand’s name in the public eye. This is why you have to focus on conducting a thorough hiring process.
Today, most hiring processes involve background checks since some candidates lie in their resumes to get the upper hand. Pre-employment background checks are crucial in finding the most suitable candidate to fill the position in your business.
In Florida, there are two types of background checks involved:
● Level 1 background check: Only state records are checked, using the applicant’s names only. The reports show the applicant’s employment history, national criminal history record checks, national sex offender registry. Some cases may include credit checks, and local criminal history records check.
● Level 2 background check: Level 2 background check involves a national fingerprint-based check and a comprehensive Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and FBI checks.
The FDLE describes a level 2 background check as a fingerprint-based background check that should be conducted on employees holding positions of trust and responsibility. These are employees working with the elderly, children, and other vulnerable groups.
As of now, Florida is the only state with a level 2 background check.
This article focuses on Level 2 background checks in Florida.
Requirements for a level 2 background check
This check’s requirements vary depending on whether you are conducting a state or national level 2 check.
For a state check, submitting a fingerprint card or name is enough.
If you are conducting a national level 2 background check, you will need to adhere to these requirements:
● The check must not be against public policy.
● Submit the fingerprints of the person being searched. They must first pass through the state repository.
● The entity receiving the report must be a governmental institution
● The entity must agree on the terms set by the FBI.
What offenses disqualify you from a level 2 background check?
The list of disqualifying offenses is long. Here are some of the disqualifying offenses.
● Sexual misconduct
● Adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation of aged persons and disabled individuals.
● Solicitation and conspiracy to commit and offense listed above
● Manslaughter of an elderly or a child
There are several disqualifying offenses the State of Florida has listed. Find out more here.
What Information Does A Level 2 Background Check Include?
As stated, a level 2 background check concentrates on disqualifying offenses that make an employee not fit for a position of responsibility or trust. The usually checked information includes criminal offenses such as sexual misconduct, murder, negligence, and conspiracy to commit such offenses.
FDLE focuses on checking criminal history records as its the definition of the phrase “background check.” However, several companies include records such as a candidate’s employment history, driver’s records in their background checks.
What Reports Show Up On A Level 2 Background Check?
The criminal records may show the charging records, the date the case was filed, disposition of the case and date, level of offense, and sentencing information.
Past employment verification
When you request an applicant’s employment verification, you will receive details such as employment dates for each job and different dates the applicant held the position.
Education and credentials verification
It is important to verify the applicants’ credentials and educational backgrounds if you want to avoid negligent hiring.
Education and credential verification reports will show you every institution a candidate has attended and received the credentials mentioned.
How Far Back Do Level 2 Background Checks Go?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) has its terms on how far back a background check can go, whether in Florida or anywhere in the United States. For this reason, the CRAs are restricted from reporting arrest records that did not lead to convictions (more than seven years ago) as a reason to disqualify a candidate.
CRAs are also restricted from reporting this information for pre-employment background checks unless the position pays $75,000 or higher.
● Civil lawsuits and judgments older than seven years
● Arrests older than seven years
Can You Pass A Level 2 Background Check With A Felony?
A common cause of worry to the job applicants is whether or not they can pass a background check if they have ever been convicted of a felony. A felony is a crime, usually a serious offense that is punishable by a minimum of one year of imprisonment.
Since it is perfectly legal for a candidate to get disqualified because of their criminal records, particularly felony convictions, you probably wonder how you can pass a background check with it.
Fortunately, you can pass a background check with a felony depending on some circumstances.
Most employers only go back up to 10 years when conducting a background check.
If you choose to hide this information in your resume, it may be known later, and you risk being fired. If you decide to be open about it, you may not get hired.
So how do you approach it if the felony falls within the ten-year period?
Most ex-offenders choose to erase or expunge the records legally. Records that can be expunged include arrests, detentions, trials, and dispositions of crimes.
An expunged record means that the offense does not exist. However, different states have different expungement regulations.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the federal law against employment discrimination.
According to the EEOC, it’s a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act for any employer to deny employment to an applicant based on their criminal records unless the crime is directly related to the job.
Some states, such as California, only require candidates to report arrests if they only resulted in convictions. Other states bar employers from denying convicted felons an employment opportunity unless if it puts them at risk.
Another factor put into consideration is the time that has elapsed since the crime was committed. While a felony can show up in your records unless expunged, many background checks stay within the seven-year rule when checking the criminal records.
Besides, convictions that occurred recently bear much more weight than the ones that happened long ago.
However, convicted felons are barred from working in specific industries on the federal and state levels. This includes banking, insurance, and real estate.
Other professions that require licensing, such as law, teaching, and psychology, are also restricted to convicted felons.
Fortunately, convicted felons can be pardoned by the president or governor on the federal and state level, respectively.
Therefore, depending on the circumstance of your situation, you may pass or fail the level 2 background screening if you have ever been convicted of a felony. As a convicted felon, it does not mean that everything is over. The situation only makes things difficult for you but not impossible.
How Much Does FDLE Background Screening Cost?
If you choose to get a criminal history report from the FDLE, it costs $24. It is important to note that the department only provides criminal history records and not other background checks such as employment history and any other relevant background information you may need to screen your candidate.
Employment Background Check Ordering In Seconds
Below you can easily order a background check on your next hire or simply find out what employers see on your record!
It's important to find out what employers see to go ahead and correct any misinformation found at the courthouses.
These are NOT instant background checks (which are not compliant in the USA for hiring purposes). These are FCRA compliant background check reports. Order on New Hire or Yourself Now (Level 2 Background Check not included)
GUEST AUTHOR Carlos Crameri founder of CuriousCheck, a marketing technology company reshaping the Human Resource and Background Screening Industries.