Gainesville, Florida Extends Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance to Private Employers

Gainesville, Florida, recently passed a law that will make it more difficult for criminal records to keep individuals from obtaining a job. The Gainesville City Commission passed a fair chance act, banning employers from asking an applicant about their criminal record before they offer the applicant a job. The new law also helps by only allowing employers to consider recent convictions and pending prosecutions. Employers can no longer consider arrests or old convictions when making hiring decisions.

As a result, individuals with criminal convictions can start job hunting without worrying about their pasts disqualifying them. Typically, applicants claim to never get far during the application process because employers ask about their criminal history. This law would delay employers’ ability to ask about criminal records until later in the employment process.

The average employment process consists of four steps: application, interview, offer, and onboarding. In addition to these steps, this law will add a fifth, which will occur after the employer makes a job offer. However, the law does not apply to an employer unless they have fifteen or more employees.

If you have a criminal record, this will allow you to emphasize the skills, experience, and other benefits you can bring to the position. This step will prove crucial because the employer cannot run a background check or ask about your criminal history from the beginning. This time will let you prove yourself without discrimination. However, it does not require employers to hire applicants with a criminal background, as it only delays the check.

The city already uses the ordinances when hiring public employees. Nevertheless, this law now extends these ordinances to private employers if they have at least fifteen employees. This extension could open up many job opportunities for Gainesville residents.

However, you must remember that businesses must have fifteen or more employees for this law to apply. As long as this holds, you do not have to answer questions about criminal history or agree to a background check until offered a job.

It would be best to prepare for a background check when an employer offers you a job. One way to prepare is by running a background check on yourself. Knowing what the employer will see will allow you to explain anything negative in your history. In addition, it gives you time to correct any errors that may delay your opportunity.

Get a head start on your next job opportunity by running a Self Background Check and discovering the status of your online reputation.


Your personal background check is required for literally everything in your life these days, from employers to rentals. Take control of yours.


PO Box 491570
Redding, CA 96049

Mon-Fri 9AM – 5PM (PST)