Phillips & Associates

Criminal Conviction Discrimination

Attorneys Representing Miami Residents in Workplace Disputes

Many employers perform criminal background checks during the hiring process. If a prospective employer discovers that you have an arrest or conviction record, it may be difficult for you to find a job, especially in a competitive job market. People who believe that they have suffered from criminal conviction discrimination in Miami-Dade County should consult the Miami criminal conviction discrimination lawyers at Phillips & Associates.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act shields job applicants from inaccuracies, such as information about expunged convictions, misclassified crimes, or mistakes about the identity of the person with the criminal record. An employer that asks for a criminal background check is supposed to obtain a job applicant’s written consent beforehand, tell the job applicant where or if the employer means to disqualify him or her based on the report’s contents, and let the applicant know if the employer makes a final determination not to hire him or her based on the information in the report. When a company is used to run the background check, it is supposed to take reasonable steps to ensure that the information provided is accurate and up to date. If you dispute the content of the report, the company is supposed to conduct a reasonable investigation and inform you if the investigation reveals an inaccuracy.

The Civil Rights Act

Additionally, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as § 1981, provides protection against discrimination based on certain protected characteristics such as race. Title VII applies to employers that have at least 15 employees. A criminal conviction discrimination attorney in Miami may be able to hold accountable an employer that excludes job applicants with a criminal record if the exclusion functions as disparate impact discrimination against people of specific races. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has provided guidance on how to permissibly screen applicants without discriminating. When determining whether a crime is disqualifying, employers are supposed to look at the gravity of the crime, the amount of time since the sentence or crime, the kind of job at issue, and the level of supervision or interaction with others. Employers are supposed to give job applicants a chance to explain what happened and discuss any mitigating circumstances that explain why they should not be disqualified due to the crime.

Florida Laws on Criminal Conviction Discrimination

Under Florida law, local and state government agencies are not allowed to deny somebody with a criminal conviction the chance to get a permit, license, or certificate to do a certain job or work in a certain industry. There is an exception if the conviction was for a first-degree misdemeanor or felony, and it is directly connected to the kind of work that the person would do in the job. Our Miami criminal conviction discrimination attorneys can help you fight discrimination by government entities.

On the other hand, in Florida, employers are legally presumed to not have been negligent in excluding a certain employee during the hiring process if they conducted a background investigation on him or her prior to the hiring. This incentivizes conducting a background check before excluding an employee on the basis of a criminal conviction.

Miami-Dade County has passed a Ban the Box initiative, which permits candidates for county jobs to go through the application and interview process without being required to provide information about their criminal history. The county conducts background checks after deciding that a job applicant is best qualified and giving the applicant a conditional employment offer.

Retain a Knowledgeable Discrimination Attorney

Criminal conviction discrimination can have a significant harmful impact on a job applicant or employee. Although the path to justice can be somewhat limited in Florida, you should talk to an experienced criminal conviction discrimination lawyer in Miami about your situation. For a free consultation with a skillful attorney, call Phillips & Associates at (305) 549-5120 or complete our online form. We represent clients on a contingency fee basis. This means that we will not ask you for attorneys’ fees unless we secure a settlement or verdict on your behalf.

Client Reviews
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Phillips & Associates did a wonderful job. I would recommend Brittany Stevens. Angel
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Employment dispute I had a dispute with my former employer, Jesse Weinstein was patient and thorough with my case. He covered every angle and was able to help me with my dispute. I would recommend Jesse Weinstein and Phillips and Associates in the future to anyone. Margaret
★★★★★
I called at Phillips & Associates seeking for a consultation and I was very pleased with the conversation I had with Eugenio Benvenuto. He was able to answer my questions thoroughly and gave me reassurance. I highly recommend their practice. Giulia
★★★★★
Hands down the best law firm for labor disputes in NYC. Being in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years I can say that this law firm is the number one choice for workers in the restaurant business that need to sue their company for wrongful termination. A special compliment to my lawyer Brittany Stevens. An amazing person and well prepared experienced lawyer. She was professional and empathetic to my case and worked in a time appropriate manner. She never miss a phone call at any hour of the day.The other associates that assisted Brittany were Yusha Hiraman, Eugenio Benvenuto and Katerina Housos. They were all professional and answered any questions or concerns that I had. Brittany and her team helped me with what I needed, when I needed it. I want to thank them all (especially Brittany), for a job well done. Massimo
★★★★★
Jesse Weinstein handled my discrimination case. He was extremely patient and understanding throughout the process and remained professional and consistent even when I could not. I really felt like he had my back and I didn't have to worry. His expertise, combined with the experience of the Firm, resulted in the best possible outcome of my case. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, things do and always will happen and I would highly recommend Jesse and this Firm to anyone facing discrimination or other workplace issues. Karen