HEALTH CARE WORKERS' RIGHTS: Do You Still Have to Wait 3 Years to Get Back to Work in Florida?
FINALLY! Health care workers in Florida get some measure of relief. Governor Rick Scott has signed legislation that makes it a little bit easier for health care workers who have previously been deemed disqualified from working because of a background problem to try and become eligible to work again in Florida's health care industry.
The legislation changes the law effective July 1, 2014, by eliminating the three-year wait after you have paid fines and court costs to become eligible to work again. (it's actually called "an exemption from disqualification.")
You can find the new law at:
then scroll to Ch. 2014-0084. You should find a PDF of the law. otherwise, you can generally find it by searching for Chapter 2014-84, Laws of Florida.
What does this mean for you if you have a background problem and have received a letter of disqualification from the Agency for Health Care Administration?
It means that you must still meet all the other criteria for getting an exemption from disqualifications, but you won't any longer be held up from qualifying if you pay your fines and court costs. You won't have to wait 3 years from the time you pay your fees and fines. However, please note you may still have to wait 3 years if that period of time has not passed since you finished your sentence or probation.
I've covered this topic and the legislation in prior blog posts here. Below is an excerpt:
A bit of good news for a change!
The Florida Legislature recently passed legislation (CS/CS/SB 674) that eliminates the 3-year waiting period after payment of court-ordered monetary amounts in order to be eligible for an exemption from disqualification.
The bill, which is not law yet, passed the House of Representatives on April 30, 2014, and the Senate on May 1, 2014. The bill is now headed to the Governor's desk for approval.
This problem has arisen in situations where someone receives a letter from the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) or the Department of Health (DOH) indicating that they have a criminal incident in their past that disqualifies them from working in health care in Florida. Currently, the law requires that 3 years must have passed since they paid all of their court-ordered fees, fines, costs, or other monetary penalties. This new legislation would eliminate the 3-year waiting period. In any event, it is important to pay all amounts due immediately to avoid being denied an exemption.
I have covered this topic before in prior blogs of mine. See https://www.floridahealthcareattorney.com/has-3-years-passed/
Let's hope the Governor signs this important piece of legislation so that health care workers can get "back to work!"
When you are denied the right to work and notified by the State you are usually advised of your rights by DOH or AHCA to challenge the denial. It is best to always consult an experienced health care attorney immediately after receiving notice that you have been denied. The State has important time deadlines that must be met or you lose your right to challenge the denial. If you have questions or need an attorney to help you navigate the process of getting your right to work back consult an experienced health care attorney.
To set up a free no-obligation consultation call 850-877-7776.