HB450: Background checks; employment prior to receipt of results.

HOUSE BILL NO. 450

Offered January 8, 2014
Prefiled January 5, 2014
A BILL to amend and reenact §§ 32.1-126.01, 32.1-162.9:1, 63.2-1720, 63.2-1721, and 63.2-1724 of the Code of Virginia, relating to background checks; employment prior to receipt of results.
Patron-- Bell, Robert B.

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That §§ 32.1-126.01, 32.1-162.9:1, 63.2-1720, 63.2-1721, and 63.2-1724 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 32.1-126.01. Employment for compensation of persons convicted of certain offenses prohibited; criminal records check required; suspension or revocation of license.

A. A licensed nursing home shall not hire for compensated employment, persons who have been convicted of a felony violation of a protective order as set out in § 16.1-253.2, murder or manslaughter as set out in Article 1 (§ 18.2-30 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, malicious wounding by mob as set out in § 18.2-41, abduction as set out in subsection A or B of § 18.2-47, abduction for immoral purposes as set out in § 18.2-48, assaults and bodily woundings as set out in Article 4 (§ 18.2-51 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, robbery as set out in § 18.2-58, carjacking as set out in § 18.2-58.1, extortion by threat as set out in § 18.2-59, threats of death or bodily injury as set out in § 18.2-60, felony stalking as set out in § 18.2-60.3, a felony violation of a protective order as set out in § 18.2-60.4, sexual assault as set out in Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, arson as set out in Article 1 (§ 18.2-77 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 18.2, drive by shooting as set out in § 18.2-286.1, use of a machine gun in a crime of violence as set out in § 18.2-289, aggressive use of a machine gun as set out in § 18.2-290, use of a sawed-off shotgun in a crime of violence as set out in subsection A of § 18.2-300, pandering as set out in § 18.2-355, crimes against nature involving children as set out in § 18.2-361, incest as set out in § 18.2-366, taking indecent liberties with children as set out in § 18.2-370 or § 18.2-370.1, abuse and neglect of children as set out in § 18.2-371.1, failure to secure medical attention for an injured child as set out in § 18.2-314, obscenity offenses as set out in § 18.2-374.1, possession of child pornography as set out in § 18.2-374.1:1, electronic facilitation of pornography as set out in § 18.2-374.3, abuse and neglect of incapacitated adults as set out in § 18.2-369, employing or permitting a minor to assist in an act constituting an offense under Article 5 (§ 18.2-372 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 18.2 as set out in § 18.2-379, delivery of drugs to prisoners as set out in § 18.2-474.1, escape from jail as set out in § 18.2-477, felonies by prisoners as set out in § 53.1-203, or an equivalent offense in another state. However, a licensed nursing home may hire an applicant who has been convicted of one misdemeanor specified in this section not involving abuse or neglect, if five years have elapsed following the conviction.

Any person desiring to work at a licensed nursing home shall provide the hiring facility with a sworn statement or affirmation disclosing any criminal convictions or any pending criminal charges, whether within or without the Commonwealth. Any person making a materially false statement when providing such sworn statement or affirmation regarding any such offense shall be guilty upon conviction of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Further dissemination of the information provided pursuant to this section is prohibited other than to a federal or state authority or court as may be required to comply with an express requirement of law for such further dissemination.

A nursing home shall, within 30 days of employment, obtain for any compensated employees an original criminal record clearance with respect to convictions for offenses specified in this section or an original criminal history record from the Central Criminal Records Exchange. However, no employee shall be permitted to work in a position that involves direct contact with a patient until an original criminal record clearance or original criminal history record has been received, unless such person works under the direct supervision of another employee for whom a background check has been completed in accordance with the requirements of this section. The provisions of this section shall be enforced by the Commissioner. If an applicant is denied employment because of convictions appearing on his criminal history record, the nursing home shall provide a copy of the information obtained from the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the applicant.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to volunteers who work with the permission or under the supervision of a person who has received a clearance pursuant to this section.

B. A person who complies in good faith with the provisions of this section shall not be liable for any civil damages for any act or omission in the performance of duties under this section unless the act or omission was the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

C. A licensed nursing home shall notify and provide to all students a copy of the provisions of this section prior to or upon enrollment in a certified nurse aide program operated by such nursing home.

§ 32.1-162.9:1. Employment for compensation of persons convicted of certain offenses prohibited; criminal records check required; drug testing; suspension or revocation of license.

A. A licensed home care organization as defined in § 32.1-162.7 or any home care organization exempt from licensure under subdivision 3 a or b of § 32.1-162.8 or any licensed hospice as defined in § 32.1-162.1 shall not hire for compensated employment, persons who have been convicted of a felony violation of a protective order as set out in § 16.1-253.2, murder or manslaughter as set out in Article 1 (§ 18.2-30 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, malicious wounding by a mob as set out in § 18.2-41, abduction as set out in subsection A or B of § 18.2-47, abduction for immoral purposes as set out in § 18.2-48, assaults and bodily woundings as set out in Article 4 (§ 18.2-51 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, robbery as set out in § 18.2-58, carjacking as set out in § 18.2-58.1, extortion by threat as set out in § 18.2-59, threats of death or bodily injury as set out in § 18.2-60, felony stalking as set out in § 18.2-60.3, a felony violation of a protective order as set out in § 18.2-60.4, sexual assault as set out in Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, arson as set out in Article 1 (§ 18.2-77 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 18.2, drive by shooting as set out in § 18.2-286.1, use of a machine gun in a crime of violence as set out in § 18.2-289, aggressive use of a machine gun as set out in § 18.2-290, use of a sawed-off shotgun in a crime of violence as set out in subsection A of § 18.2-300, pandering as set out in § 18.2-355, crimes against nature involving children as set out in § 18.2-361, incest as set out in § 18.2-366, taking indecent liberties with children as set out in § 18.2-370 or § 18.2-370.1, abuse and neglect of children as set out in § 18.2-371.1, failure to secure medical attention for an injured child as set out in § 18.2-314, obscenity offenses as set out in § 18.2-374.1, possession of child pornography as set out in § 18.2-374.1:1, electronic facilitation of pornography as set out in § 18.2-374.3, abuse and neglect of incapacitated adults as set out in § 18.2-369, employing or permitting a minor to assist in an act constituting an offense under Article 5 (§ 18.2-372 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 18.2 as set out in § 18.2-379, delivery of drugs to prisoners as set out in § 18.2-474.1, escape from jail as set out in § 18.2-477, felonies by prisoners as set out in § 53.1-203, or an equivalent offense in another state.

However, a home care organization or hospice may hire an applicant convicted of one misdemeanor specified in this section not involving abuse or neglect, if five years have elapsed since the conviction.

Any person desiring to work at a licensed home care organization as defined in § 32.1-162.7 or any home care organization exempt from licensure under subdivision 3 a or b of § 32.1-162.8 or any licensed hospice as defined in § 32.1-162.1 shall provide the hiring facility with a sworn statement or affirmation disclosing any criminal convictions or any pending criminal charges, whether within or without the Commonwealth. Any person making a materially false statement when providing such sworn statement or affirmation regarding any such offense shall be guilty upon conviction of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Further dissemination of the information provided pursuant to this section is prohibited other than to a federal or state authority or court as may be required to comply with an express requirement of law for such further dissemination.

Such home care organization or hospice shall, within 30 days of employment, obtain for any compensated employees an original criminal record clearance with respect to convictions for offenses specified in this section or an original criminal history record from the Central Criminal Records Exchange. However, no employee shall be permitted to work in a position that involves direct contact with a patient until an original criminal record clearance or original criminal history record has been received, unless such person works under the direct supervision of another employee for whom a background check has been completed in accordance with the requirements of this section. The provisions of this section shall be enforced by the Commissioner. If an applicant is denied employment because of convictions appearing on his criminal history record, the home care organization or hospice shall provide a copy of the information obtained from the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the applicant.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to volunteers who work with the permission or under the supervision of a person who has received a clearance pursuant to this section.

B. A licensed home care organization as defined in § 32.1-162.7 or any home care organization exempt from licensure under subdivision 3 a or b of § 32.1-162.8 shall establish policies for maintaining a drug-free workplace, which may include drug testing when the employer has cause to believe that the person has engaged in the use of illegal drugs and periodically during the course of employment. All positive results from drug testing administered pursuant to this section shall be reported to the health regulatory boards responsible for licensing, certifying, or registering the person to practice, if any.

C. A person who complies in good faith with the provisions of this section shall not be liable for any civil damages for any act or omission in the performance of duties under this section unless the act or omission was the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

D. A licensed home care organization or hospice shall notify and provide all students a copy of the provisions of this section prior to or upon enrollment in a certified nurse aide program operated by such home care organization or hospice.

§ 63.2-1720. Employment for compensation of persons or use of volunteers convicted of certain offenses prohibited; background check required; penalty.

A. An assisted living facility, adult day care center or child welfare agency licensed or registered in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, or family day homes approved by family day systems, shall not hire for compensated employment persons who have an offense as defined in § 63.2-1719. Such employees shall undergo background checks pursuant to subsection D. In the case of child welfare agencies, the provisions of this section shall apply to employees who are involved in the day-to-day operations of such agency or who are alone with, in control of, or supervising one or more children.

B. A licensed assisted living facility or adult day care center may hire an applicant convicted of one misdemeanor barrier crime not involving abuse or neglect, if five years have elapsed following the conviction.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, a child day center may hire for compensated employment persons who have been convicted of not more than one misdemeanor offense under § 18.2-57 if 10 years have elapsed following the conviction, unless the person committed such offense while employed in a child day center or the object of the offense was a minor.

D. Background checks pursuant to this section require:

1. A sworn statement or affirmation disclosing whether the person has a criminal conviction or is the subject of any pending criminal charges within or outside the Commonwealth and, in the case of child welfare agencies, whether or not the person has been the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect within or outside the Commonwealth;

2. A criminal history record check through the Central Criminal Records Exchange pursuant to § 19.2-389; and

3. In the case of child welfare agencies, a search of the central registry maintained pursuant to § 63.2-1515 for any founded complaint of child abuse and neglect.

E. Any person desiring to work as a compensated employee at a licensed assisted living facility, licensed adult day care center, a licensed or registered child welfare agency, or a family day home approved by a family day system shall provide the hiring or approving facility, center or agency with a sworn statement or affirmation pursuant to subdivision D 1. Any person making a materially false statement regarding the sworn statement or affirmation provided pursuant to subdivision D 1 shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

F. A licensed assisted living facility, licensed adult day care center, a licensed or registered child welfare agency, or a family day home approved by a family day system shall obtain for any compensated employees within 30 days of employment (i) an original criminal record clearance with respect to convictions for offenses specified in § 63.2-1719 or an original criminal history record from the Central Criminal Records Exchange and (ii) in the case of licensed or registered child welfare agencies or family day homes approved by family day systems, a copy of the information from the central registry. However, no employee shall be permitted to work in a position that involves direct contact with a person or child receiving services until an original criminal record clearance or original criminal history record has been received, unless such person works under the direct supervision of another employee for whom a background check has been completed in accordance with the requirements of this section. If an applicant is denied employment because of information from the central registry or convictions appearing on his criminal history record, the assisted living facility, adult day care center or child welfare agency shall provide a copy of the information obtained from the central registry or the Central Criminal Records Exchange or both to the applicant.

G. No volunteer who has an offense as defined in § 63.2-1719 shall be permitted to serve in a licensed or registered child welfare agency or a family day home approved by a family day system. Any person desiring to volunteer at such a child welfare agency shall provide the agency with a sworn statement or affirmation pursuant to subdivision D 1. Such child welfare agency shall obtain for any volunteers, within 30 days of commencement of volunteer service, a copy of (i) the information from the central registry and (ii) an original criminal record clearance with respect to offenses specified in § 63.2-1719 or an original criminal history record from the Central Criminal Records Exchange. Any person making a materially false statement regarding the sworn statement or affirmation provided pursuant to subdivision D 1 shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If a volunteer is denied service because of information from the central registry or convictions appearing on his criminal history record, such child welfare agency shall provide a copy of the information obtained from the central registry or the Central Criminal Records Exchange or both to the volunteer. The provisions of this subsection shall apply only to volunteers who will be alone with any child in the performance of their duties and shall not apply to a parent-volunteer of a child attending a licensed or registered child welfare agency, or a family day home approved by a family day system, whether or not such parent-volunteer will be alone with any child in the performance of his duties. A parent-volunteer is someone supervising, without pay, a group of children that includes the parent-volunteer's own child in a program that operates no more than four hours per day, provided that the parent-volunteer works under the direct supervision of a person who has received a clearance pursuant to this section.

H. No volunteer shall be permitted to serve in a licensed assisted living facility or licensed adult day care center without the permission or under the supervision of a person who has received a clearance pursuant to this section.

I. Further dissemination of the background check information is prohibited other than to the Commissioner's representative or a federal or state authority or court as may be required to comply with an express requirement of law for such further dissemination.

J. A licensed assisted living facility shall notify and provide all students a copy of the provisions of this article prior to or upon enrollment in a certified nurse aide program operated by such assisted living facility.

K. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any children's residential facility licensed pursuant to § 63.2-1701, which instead shall comply with the background investigation requirements contained in § 63.2-1726.

L. A person who complies in good faith with the provisions of this section shall not be liable for any civil damages for any act or omission in the performance of duties under this section unless the act or omission was the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

§ 63.2-1721. Background check upon application for licensure or registration as child welfare agency; background check of foster or adoptive parents approved by child-placing agencies and family day homes approved by family day systems; penalty.

A. Upon application for licensure or registration as a child welfare agency, (i) all applicants; (ii) agents at the time of application who are or will be involved in the day-to-day operations of the child welfare agency or who are or will be alone with, in control of, or supervising one or more of the children; and (iii) any other adult living in the home of an applicant for licensure or registration as a family day home shall undergo a background check. Upon application for licensure as an assisted living facility, all applicants shall undergo a background check. In addition, foster or adoptive parents requesting approval by child-placing agencies and operators of family day homes requesting approval by family day systems, and any other adult residing in the family day home or existing employee or volunteer of the family day home, shall undergo background checks pursuant to subsection B prior to their approval.

B. Background checks pursuant to this section require:

1. A sworn statement or affirmation disclosing whether the person has a criminal conviction or is the subject of any pending criminal charges within or outside the Commonwealth and whether or not the person has been the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect within or outside the Commonwealth;

2. A criminal history record check through the Central Criminal Records Exchange pursuant to § 19.2-389; and

3. In the case of child welfare agencies or adoptive or foster parents, a search of the central registry maintained pursuant to § 63.2-1515 for any founded complaint of child abuse and neglect.

C. The character and reputation investigation pursuant to § 63.2-1702 shall include background checks pursuant to subsection B of persons specified in subsection A. The applicant shall submit the background check information required in subsection B to the Commissioner's representative prior to issuance of a license, registration or approval. The applicant shall provide an original criminal record clearance with respect to offenses specified in § 63.2-1719 or an original criminal history record from the Central Criminal Records Exchange. Any person making a materially false statement regarding the sworn statement or affirmation provided pursuant to subdivision B 1 shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If any person specified in subsection A required to have a background check has any offense as defined in § 63.2-1719, and such person has not been granted a waiver by the Commissioner pursuant to § 63.2-1723 or is not subject to an exception in subsections E, F, or G (i) the Commissioner shall not issue a license or registration to a child welfare agency; (ii) the Commissioner shall not issue a license to an assisted living facility; (iii) a child-placing agency shall not approve an adoptive or foster home; or (iv) a family day system shall not approve a family day home.

D. No person specified in subsection A shall be involved in the day-to-day operations of the a child welfare agency or shall; be alone with, in control of, or supervising one or more of the children receiving services from a child welfare agency; or be permitted to work in a position that involves direct contact with a person receiving services without first having completed background checks pursuant to subsection B, unless such person is directly supervised by another person for whom a background check has been completed in accordance with the requirements of this section.

E. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary contained in this section, a child-placing agency may approve as an adoptive or foster parent an applicant convicted of not more than one misdemeanor as set out in § 18.2-57 not involving abuse, neglect, moral turpitude, or a minor, provided 10 years have elapsed following the conviction.

F. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary contained in this section, a child-placing agency may approve as a foster parent an applicant convicted of statutory burglary for breaking and entering a dwelling home or other structure with intent to commit larceny, who has had his civil rights restored by the Governor, provided 25 years have elapsed following the conviction.

G. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary contained in this section, a child-placing agency may approve as an adoptive or foster parent an applicant convicted of felony possession of drugs, who has had his civil rights restored by the Governor, provided 10 years have elapsed following the conviction.

H. If an applicant is denied licensure, registration or approval because of information from the central registry or convictions appearing on his criminal history record, the Commissioner shall provide a copy of the information obtained from the central registry or the Central Criminal Records Exchange or both to the applicant.

I. Further dissemination of the background check information is prohibited other than to the Commissioner's representative or a federal or state authority or court as may be required to comply with an express requirement of law for such further dissemination.

J. The provisions of this section referring to a sworn statement or affirmation and to prohibitions on the issuance of a license for any offense shall not apply to any children's residential facility licensed pursuant to § 63.2-1701, which instead shall comply with the background investigation requirements contained in § 63.2-1726.

§ 63.2-1724. Records check by unlicensed child day center; penalty.

Any child day center that is exempt from licensure pursuant to § 63.2-1716 shall require a prospective employee or volunteer or any other person who is expected to be alone with one or more children enrolled in the child day center to obtain within 30 days of employment or commencement of volunteer service, a search of the central registry maintained pursuant to § 63.2-1515 on any founded complaint of child abuse or neglect and a criminal records check as provided in subdivision A 11 of § 19.2-389 and. However, no employee shall be permitted to work in a position that involves direct contact with a child until an original criminal record clearance or original criminal history record has been received, unless such person works under the direct supervision of another employee for whom a background check has been completed in accordance with the requirements of this section. A child day center that is exempt from licensure pursuant to § 63.2-1716 shall refuse employment or service to any person who has any offense defined in § 63.2-1719. Such center shall also require a prospective employee or volunteer or any other person who is expected to be alone with one or more children in the child day center to provide a sworn statement or affirmation disclosing whether or not the applicant has ever been (i) the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect, or (ii) convicted of a crime or is the subject of pending criminal charges for any offense within the Commonwealth or any equivalent offense outside the Commonwealth. The foregoing provisions shall not apply to a parent or guardian who may be left alone with his or her own child. For purposes of this section, convictions shall include prior adult convictions and juvenile convictions or adjudications of delinquency based on a crime that would have been a felony if committed by an adult within or outside the Commonwealth. Any person making a materially false statement regarding any such offense shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If an applicant is denied employment or service because of information from the central registry or convictions appearing on his criminal history record, the child day center shall provide a copy of the information obtained from the central registry or Central Criminal Records Exchange or both to the applicant. Further dissemination of the information provided to the facility is prohibited.

The provisions of this section referring to volunteers shall apply only to volunteers who will be alone with any child in the performance of their duties and shall not apply to a parent-volunteer of a child attending the child day center whether or not such parent-volunteer will be alone with any child in the performance of his duties. A parent-volunteer is someone supervising, without pay, a group of children which includes the parent-volunteer's own child, in a program which operates no more than four hours per day, where the parent-volunteer works under the direct supervision of a person who has received a clearance pursuant to this section.