CS for SB 146                                    First Engrossed
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to criminal justice; providing a short
    3         title; providing legislative intent; requiring state
    4         agencies and regulatory boards to prepare reports that
    5         identify and evaluate restrictions on licensing and
    6         employment for ex-offenders; amending s. 112.011,
    7         F.S.; prohibiting state agencies from denying an
    8         application for a license, permit, certificate, or
    9         employment based on a person’s lack of civil rights;
   10         providing an exception; amending s. 768.096, F.S.;
   11         revising the presumption against negligent hiring of
   12         an employee in circumstances in which a background
   13         investigation of a prospective employee revealed that
   14         the employee was unsuitable for the context of the
   15         employment in general; providing an effective date.
   17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   19         Section 1. This act may be cited as the “Jim King Keep
   20  Florida Working Act.”
   21         Section 2. Restrictions on the employment of ex-offenders;
   22  legislative intent; state agency reporting requirements.
   23         (1)The Legislature declares that a goal of this state is
   24  to clearly identify the occupations from which ex-offenders are
   25  disqualified based on their specific offenses. The Legislature
   26  intends to make employment opportunities available to ex
   27  offenders in a manner that encourages them to become productive
   28  members of society and preserves the safety of the public. To
   29  this end, all state agencies shall identify all restrictions on
   30  employment imposed by the agencies or by boards that regulate
   31  professions and occupations and attempt to define each
   32  restriction as narrowly as possible while continuing to maintain
   33  public safety.
   34         (2)Each state agency, including, but not limited to,
   35  professional and occupational regulatory boards, shall, by
   36  December 31, 2011, and every 8 years thereafter, submit to the
   37  Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the
   38  House of Representatives a report that includes:
   39         (a)A list of all agency or board policies that disqualify
   40  from employment or licensure persons who have been convicted of
   41  a crime and have completed any incarceration and restitution to
   42  which they have been sentenced for such a crime.
   43         (b)A determination of whether the disqualifying policies
   44  are readily available to prospective employers and licensees.
   45         (c)The identification and evaluation of alternatives to
   46  the disqualifying policies which promote the employment of ex
   47  offenders and protect the public.
   48         (d)An evaluation of whether the disqualifying polices are
   49  too broad and whether crimes or acts of moral turpitude that
   50  disqualify a person from licensure should be more specifically
   51  or narrowly identified.
   52         Section 3. Section 112.011, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   53  read:
   54         112.011 Disqualification from licensing and public
   55  employment based on criminal conviction Felons; removal of
   56  disqualifications for employment, exceptions.—
   57         (1)(a) Except as provided in s. 775.16, a person may shall
   58  not be disqualified from employment by the state, any of its
   59  agencies or political subdivisions, or any municipality solely
   60  because of a prior conviction for a crime. However, a person may
   61  be denied employment by the state, any of its agencies or
   62  political subdivisions, or any municipality by reason of the
   63  prior conviction for a crime if the crime was a felony or first
   64  degree misdemeanor and directly related to the position of
   65  employment sought.
   66         (b) Except as provided in s. 775.16, a person whose civil
   67  rights have been restored shall not be disqualified to practice,
   68  pursue, or engage in any occupation, trade, vocation,
   69  profession, or business for which a license, permit, or
   70  certificate is required to be issued by the state, any of its
   71  agencies or political subdivisions, or any municipality solely
   72  because of a prior conviction for a crime. However, a person
   73  whose civil rights have been restored may be denied a license,
   74  permit, or certification to pursue, practice, or engage in an
   75  occupation, trade, vocation, profession, or business by reason
   76  of the prior conviction for a crime if the crime was a felony or
   77  first-degree first degree misdemeanor that is relevant to the
   78  standards normally associated with, or determined by the
   79  regulatory authority to be necessary for the protection of the
   80  public or other parties for, and directly related to the
   81  specific occupation, trade, vocation, profession, or business
   82  for which the license, permit, or certificate is sought.
   83         (c)Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a state agency
   84  may not deny an application for a license, permit, certificate,
   85  or employment based on the applicant’s lack of civil rights.
   86  However, this paragraph does not apply to applications for a
   87  license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm under chapter
   88  790.
   89         (2)(a) This section does shall not apply be applicable to
   90  any law enforcement or correctional agency.
   91         (b) This section does shall not apply be applicable to the
   92  employment practices of any fire department relating to the
   93  hiring of firefighters. An applicant for employment with any
   94  fire department who has with a prior felony conviction shall be
   95  excluded from employment for a period of 4 years after
   96  expiration of sentence or final release by the Parole Commission
   97  unless the applicant, before prior to the expiration of the 4
   98  year period, has received a full pardon or has had his or her
   99  civil rights restored.
  100         (c) This section does shall not apply be applicable to the
  101  employment practices of any county or municipality relating to
  102  the hiring of personnel for positions deemed to be critical to
  103  security or public safety pursuant to ss. 125.5801 and 166.0442.
  104         (3) Any complaint concerning the violation of this section
  105  shall be adjudicated in accordance with the procedures set forth
  106  in chapter 120 for administrative and judicial review.
  107         Section 4. Section 768.096, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  108  read:
  109         768.096 Employer presumption against negligent hiring.—
  110         (1) In a civil action for the death of, or injury or damage
  111  to, a third person caused by the intentional tort of an
  112  employee, such employee’s employer is presumed not to have been
  113  negligent in hiring such employee if, before hiring the
  114  employee, the employer conducted a background investigation of
  115  the prospective employee and the investigation did not reveal
  116  any information that reasonably demonstrated the unsuitability
  117  of the prospective employee for the particular work to be
  118  performed or for the context of the employment in general. A
  119  background investigation under this section must include:
  120         (a) Obtaining a criminal background investigation on the
  121  prospective employee under subsection (2);
  122         (b) Making a reasonable effort to contact references and
  123  former employers of the prospective employee concerning the
  124  suitability of the prospective employee for employment;
  125         (c) Requiring the prospective employee to complete a job
  126  application form that includes questions concerning whether he
  127  or she has ever been convicted of a crime, including details
  128  concerning the type of crime, the date of conviction and the
  129  penalty imposed, and whether the prospective employee has ever
  130  been a defendant in a civil action for intentional tort,
  131  including the nature of the intentional tort and the disposition
  132  of the action;
  133         (d) Obtaining, with written authorization from the
  134  prospective employee, a check of the driver’s license record of
  135  the prospective employee if such a check is relevant to the work
  136  the employee will be performing and if the record can reasonably
  137  be obtained; or
  138         (e) Interviewing the prospective employee.
  139         (2) To satisfy the criminal-background-investigation
  140  requirement of this section, an employer must request and obtain
  141  from the Department of Law Enforcement a check of the
  142  information as reported and reflected in the Florida Crime
  143  Information Center system as of the date of the request.
  144         (3) The election by an employer not to conduct the
  145  investigation specified in subsection (1) does not raise any
  146  presumption that the employer failed to use reasonable care in
  147  hiring an employee.
  148         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.