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Background Screening Exemption:
Navigating the Road to Employment After Conviction

A Comprehensive Guide to Section 435.07, F.S.


In life, we often stumble and make mistakes. The critical factor, however, is to draw lessons from our missteps and forge ahead. This is a safe space, free from judgement, where we aim to assist and support. As a former public defender, I've witnessed numerous well-intentioned individuals plead guilty to evade the risk of a more severe conviction and possible jail time. Regrettably, this plea often leads to disqualification from employment. But despair not, because I am here to help. Florida provides certain avenues for individuals to secure an employment exemption from the Agency for Health Care Administration. My office stands ready to assist in this process.

Florida Statutes Section 435.07: A Ray of Hope for the Disqualified
In line with Section 435.07 of the Florida Statutes, individuals who are disqualified from employment may be granted an exemption from such disqualification. It's essential to understand that this exemption doesn't expunge or alter an individual's criminal history. Rather, it simply establishes their eligibility for employment within a health care setting. To secure this exemption, an applicant must present strong and convincing evidence in favor of their case.

The Review Process: An Overview
Once all pertinent documentation, as outlined in the forthcoming Exemption Form Instructions, has been received, the application will be subject to a thorough review process. Only then will a decision be made regarding the exemption.

Eligibility Criteria for Applying for an Exemption
Before an individual can apply for an Exemption from Disqualification, they must fulfill certain requirements:

1. Completion of a Statutory Period:
The applicant must have completed or been lawfully released from confinement, supervision, or a non-monetary condition imposed by the court for any disqualifying felonies at least 3 years prior.

2. Resolution of Court Impositions:
The applicant should have fulfilled or been legally released from confinement, supervision, or a non-monetary condition instituted by the court for all misdemeanors prohibited under any of the statutes referenced in this chapter or under analogous statutes of other jurisdictions.

3. Settlement of Court-Ordered Financial Responsibilities: 
The applicant should have fully paid any court-ordered amounts, including fees, fines, fund contributions, liens, civil judgments, application costs, costs of prosecution, trust payments, or restitution as part of the judgment and sentence for any disqualifying felony or misdemeanor.

4. Exceptions to the Rule: Who Cannot Apply?
Unfortunately, certain individuals are not eligible to apply for an Exemption from Disqualification in Florida. This includes individuals identified as sexual predators, sexual offenders, or career offenders.

In essence, while life can be filled with pitfalls and missteps, Florida's Section 435.07 provides a means for individuals to regain their footing in the workforce post-conviction. The Haston Law Firm's mission is to guide you through this process, helping you traverse the complexities of these prerequisites and limitations, to potentially secure employment within the healthcare sector again.

The Florida Assisted Living Association's Back on Track Initiative:
Through the Florida Assisted Living Association, 15 pro bono scholarships are offered annually to caregivers, secretarial staff, cooks, and maintenance workers. If you are interested in a scholarship, please contact Alberta Granger at 850-383-1159.
Healthcare Workers
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