435.07 Exemptions from disqualification.—Unless otherwise provided by law, the provisions of this section apply to exemptions from disqualification for disqualifying offenses revealed pursuant to background screenings required under this chapter, regardless of whether those disqualifying offenses are listed in this chapter or other laws.
(1)(a) The head of the appropriate agency may grant to any employee otherwise disqualified from employment an exemption from disqualification for:
1. Felonies for which at least 3 years have elapsed since the applicant for the exemption has completed or been lawfully released from confinement, supervision, or nonmonetary condition imposed by the court for the disqualifying felony;
2. Misdemeanors prohibited under any of the statutes cited in this chapter or under similar statutes of other jurisdictions for which the applicant for the exemption has completed or been lawfully released from confinement, supervision, or nonmonetary condition imposed by the court;
3. Offenses that were felonies when committed but that are now misdemeanors and for which the applicant for the exemption has completed or been lawfully released from confinement, supervision, or nonmonetary condition imposed by the court; or
4. Findings of delinquency. For offenses that would be felonies if committed by an adult and the record has not been sealed or expunged, the exemption may not be granted until at least 3 years have elapsed since the applicant for the exemption has completed or been lawfully released from confinement, supervision, or nonmonetary condition imposed by the court for the disqualifying offense.
(b) A person applying for an exemption who was ordered to pay any amount for any fee, fine, fund, lien, civil judgment, application, costs of prosecution, trust, or restitution as part of the judgment and sentence for any disqualifying felony or misdemeanor must pay the court-ordered amount in full before he or she is eligible for the exemption.For the purposes of this subsection, the term “felonies” means both felonies prohibited under any of the statutes cited in this chapter or under similar statutes of other jurisdictions.
(2) Persons employed, or applicants for employment, by treatment providers who treat adolescents 13 years of age and older who are disqualified from employment solely because of crimes under s. 817.563, s. 893.13, or s. 893.147 may be exempted from disqualification from employment pursuant to this chapter without application of the waiting period in subparagraph (1)(a)1.
(3)(a) In order for the head of an agency to grant an exemption to any employee, the employee must demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the employee should not be disqualified from employment. Employees seeking an exemption have the burden of setting forth clear and convincing evidence of rehabilitation, including, but not limited to, the circumstances surrounding the criminal incident for which an exemption is sought, the time period that has elapsed since the incident, the nature of the harm caused to the victim, and the history of the employee since the incident, or any other evidence or circumstances indicating that the employee will not present a danger if employment or continued employment is allowed.
(b) The agency may consider as part of its deliberations of the employee’s rehabilitation the fact that the employee has, subsequent to the conviction for the disqualifying offense for which the exemption is being sought, been arrested for or convicted of another crime, even if that crime is not a disqualifying offense.
(c) The decision of the head of an agency regarding an exemption may be contested through the hearing procedures set forth in chapter 120. The standard of review by the administrative law judge is whether the agency’s intended action is an abuse of discretion.
(4)(a) Disqualification from employment under this chapter may not be removed from, nor may an exemption be granted to, any personnel who is found guilty of, regardless of adjudication, or who has entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to, any felony covered by s. 435.03 or s. 435.04 solely by reason of any pardon, executive clemency, or restoration of civil rights. (b) Disqualification from employment under this chapter may not be removed from, nor may an exemption be granted to, any person who is a: 1. Sexual predator as designated pursuant to s. 775.21; 2. Career offender pursuant to s. 775.261; or 3. Sexual offender pursuant to s. 943.0435, unless the requirement to register as a sexual offender has been removed pursuant to s. 943.04354. (c) Disqualification from employment under this chapter may not be removed from, and an exemption may not be granted to, any current or prospective child care personnel, as defined in s. 402.302(3), and such a person is disqualified from employment as child care personnel, regardless of any previous exemptions from disqualification, if the person has been registered as a sex offender as described in 42 U.S.C. s. 9858f(c)(1)(C) or has been arrested for and is awaiting final disposition of, has been convicted or found guilty of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, or has been adjudicated delinquent and the record has not been sealed or expunged for, any offense prohibited under any of the following provisions of state law or a similar law of another jurisdiction: 1. A felony offense prohibited under any of the following statutes:
a. Chapter 741, relating to domestic violence.
b. Section 782.04, relating to murder. c. Section 782.07, relating to manslaughter, aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult, aggravated manslaughter of a child, or aggravated manslaughter of an officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, or a paramedic. d. Section 784.021, relating to aggravated assault. e. Section 784.045, relating to aggravated battery. f. Section 787.01, relating to kidnapping. g. Section 787.025, relating to luring or enticing a child. h. Section 787.04(2), relating to leading, taking, enticing, or removing a minor beyond the state limits, or concealing the location of a minor, with criminal intent pending custody proceedings. i. Section 787.04(3), relating to leading, taking, enticing, or removing a minor beyond the state limits, or concealing the location of a minor, with criminal intent pending dependency proceedings or proceedings concerning alleged abuse or neglect of a minor. j. Section 794.011, relating to sexual battery. k. Former s. 794.041, relating to sexual activity with or solicitation of a child by a person in familial or custodial authority. l. Section 794.05, relating to unlawful sexual activity with certain minors. m. Section 794.08, relating to female genital mutilation. n. Section 806.01, relating to arson. o. Section 826.04, relating to incest. p. Section 827.03, relating to child abuse, aggravated child abuse, or neglect of a child. q. Section 827.04, relating to contributing to the delinquency or dependency of a child. r. Section 827.071, relating to sexual performance by a child.
s. Chapter 847, relating to child pornography.
t. Section 985.701, relating to sexual misconduct in juvenile justice programs. 2. A misdemeanor offense prohibited under any of the following statutes: a. Section 784.03, relating to battery, if the victim of the offense was a minor. b. Section 787.025, relating to luring or enticing a child.
c. Chapter 847, relating to child pornography.
3. A criminal act committed in another state or under federal law which, if committed in this state, constitutes an offense prohibited under any statute listed in subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2.
(5) Exemptions granted by one agency shall be considered by subsequent agencies, but are not binding on the subsequent agency.
History.—s. 47, ch. 95-228; s. 47, ch. 2000-349; s. 64, ch. 2001-62; s. 29, ch. 2004-267; s. 9, ch. 2005-128; s. 41, ch. 2010-114; s. 8, ch. 2014-84; ss. 1, 3, ch. 2016-98; s. 26, ch. 2016-104; s. 37, ch. 2016-105; s. 15, ch. 2016-238; s. 20, ch. 2017-37.