Housing one of the biggest concentrations of urban population in the south-eastern US, the Miami metro area is not only significant in the number of people living there but also in the geographical area it covers. The region includes approximately 100 miles of the southern Florida coastline, encompassing large chunks of the state’s three biggest counties: Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. This expansive coastal region includes more than 6.1 million people and is home to numerous major cities besides its namesake. Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach fall within the metro area’s boundaries
As one contiguous stretch of urban development, movement between the three counties of the region is common. Connected by two major highways, Interstate 95 and Florida’s Turnpike, living in one county and working in another is very common for locals. This is especially true for Miami due to the city’s density and high concentration of large businesses.
For employers in and nearby the Miami metro region, limiting background screenings to only the company’s county can allow vital information to go unnoticed. If an individual with criminal charges pending in Palm Beach applies to work in Miami-Dade, one county-level background check will not necessarily provide the information an employer needs to make an informed choice. With that in mind, expanding your search to include the entire metro region is the smartest hiring decision. The first step for employers is being aware of the rules that govern background checks.
Florida does not place heavy restrictions on employers seeking to learn about an applicant’s criminal history. Private employers can ask applicants about arrests and convictions and consider both in employment decisions. However, applicants have the right to withhold information about sealed and expunged records in their history. Public employers cannot disqualify an applicant based on a conviction except in cases of felony offenses or first-degree misdemeanors with a direct connection to the anticipated job role.
While Miami-Dade County and the city of Pompano Beach have passed ban the box rules that apply to their respective government employers, there are no state-wide laws on the books. No private employers in the Miami metro are subject to ban the box restrictions. Applications can contain questions about criminal history, and interviews can incorporate an applicant’s answers.
Surrounded by a highly mobile population that flows freely across county lines, employers within the Miami metro should consider adopting background check policies that take a wide view. Using an applicant’s address history can be a good place to start, or you can check all three counties as a matter of due diligence. backgroundchecks.com streamlines the process of conducting a metro area background check with tailored solutions that automatically include all applicable records from Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. The ability to quickly gather records from across the region simplifies the process of fully vetting applicants.