Florida Expands Barbering and Cosmetology Licenses

December 11, 2023

A Florida state Senate panel recently approved a bill concerning barber and cosmetology licensing. According to the bill, individuals with prior nonviolent offenses could acquire these licenses if they meet the requirements. This change could significantly improve the labor pool for employers in these industries.

Florida State Senator Linda Steward introduced Senate Bill 42 (SB 42) legislation. It would remove the limitation on acquiring a barber or cosmetology license for those with nonviolent criminal convictions. However, this permission applied only to convictions that occurred three or more years before the time of the application. This bill received unanimous approval from the Senate Regulated Industries Committee.

What SB 42 Does

SB 42 aims to reduce the roadblocks individuals with criminal convictions face in acquiring employment after completing their sentences. Many of these individuals have faced impossible barriers after completing their sentences and exiting prison. As such, the bill allowed those with past felony convictions to acquire barber or cosmetology licenses.

Furthermore, many prisons have offered barbering as one of their vocational training programs. These programs are for those behind bars to build skills for acquiring work when they reintegrate into society. As a result, many past convicts have developed these skills and run into this barrier. Now, the state legislature is looking to change this with SB 42, which provides the following:

“A conviction, or any other adjudication, for a crime more than three years before the date the application is received by the applicable board may not be grounds for denial of a license specified in subparagraph (a)1. or subparagraph (a)2. unless the applicant was convicted of a crime at any time during the 3-year period immediately preceding the application.”

Similar Bills

In November of this year, a similar bill passed through the House Regulatory Reform and Economic Development Subcommittee. As with the Senate bill, this would prevent the state from denying a license for either of these professions after three years without new arrests. This bill has to clear the Senate Criminal Justice Committee before it makes it to a House vote. 

State officials have also expressed interest in expanding these proposals to other professional licenses. Such an expansion could greatly expand the labor pool for employers in these industries. It would also significantly improve opportunities for those with prior criminal convictions.

In the meantime, employers in fields not facing these restrictions should consider reviewing their hiring policies for those with a criminal history. Many employers could remove certain disqualifications and invite those with former convictions to apply. The best way to get started with these second-chance policies is to work with an experienced screening provider.

JDP makes second-chance hiring easy and delivers seamless background checks for your business. Keep your business compliant with new laws and regulations with Pre-employ’s reliable background checks. Contact a sales rep today.