A recent article published in the Orlando Sentinel had us asking a question that seems to have a straight forward answer, however, in the light of many states experiencing low unemployment, has appeared to make the question less straight forward.

A woman was hired as a teacher at a private school following her release from prison for Medicaid Fraud (Here is the link to the full article). As parents and grandparents, we asked ourselves if exceptions can or should be made to to ban persons with felony charges when being considered for positions that would have close and continuous contact with children. Public schools in Florida cannot hire teachers with criminal records, but private schools do not have the same requirements.

Not only does this pose questions about our schools, but with all companies and organizations.

Does your company allow for the hiring of applicants with misdemeanors and/or felonies?

  • What are your companies hiring practices?
  • Do you allow 2nd chances? Do you have policies and procedures in place to accommodate new hires and current staff?
  • Are they aware of these policies?
  • Do you make decisions based on the policies in place or do you make them based on the current situation?

Many employers are faced with the dilemmas of hiring practices.  With Ban the Box initiatives and laws sweeping the country, have you taken the time to update your employee manual, reviewed your hiring guidelines, or better yet, consulted with your employment attorney?

Keeping up with changing laws and low unemployment can be stressful.  Many don’t know where to start – who to start with and why we even have to consider these issues.  Here’s quick list to help you get started:

  1. Review with your team who you serve.  Are they children, elders or ADA?
  2. Review your current hiring practices, who meets/comes in contact with the children/elders/ADA
  3. Review job descriptions to assure they match your expectations
  4. Review your background screening policy


As always, consult with your legal team to make sure you are remaining compliant in this ever-changing landscape.

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