SB 1 Requires criminal background checks for certain employees in positions with substantial direct contact with children
Sponsor: Gibbons Co-Sponsor(s)
LR Number: 0489S.01I Fiscal Note: 0489-01
Committee: Judiciary and Civil & Criminal Jurisprudence
Last Action: 2/19/2007 - SCS Voted Do Pass S Judiciary and Civil & Criminal Jurisprudence Committee (0489S.06C) Journal Page:
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2007

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Current Bill Summary


SCS/SB 1 - This act requires criminal background checks for certain employees in positions with substantial direct contact with children.

SECTION 43.508 - CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR STATE EMPLOYEES -Under this section, before a state agency hires a person seventeen years of age or older for a position with substantial direct contact with children under the age of sixteen, the agency must request a criminal background check. A "position with substantial direct contact with children" is defined as any position where the employee is in the physical presence of or within close proximity to a child or children at least 50% of the time he or she is working and is involved in care, treatment, education, training, instruction, supervision, or recreation of such child or children during work.

A state agency shall require a person seventeen years of age or older applying for such a position to provide all addresses at which the person has resided during the current and previous five calendar years. The state agency shall be required to have a national criminal background check, or a criminal background check from each state for which the applicant has provided an address, conducted on such person.

All records related to any criminal history information discovered shall be accessible and available to the agency making the record request. In the case of temporary employees hired through or contracted for an employment agency, the employment agency shall be subject to the provisions of this section prior to sending the employee to a state agency.

When a state agency requests a criminal background check, it may require the applicant to reimburse the state for the cost of such record check.

An applicant subject to this section shall sign a consent form so the state may request a criminal background check and ask the applicant to disclose his or her criminal history.

A state agency shall not hire any individual for a position with substantial direct contact with children less than sixteen years of age, who has pleaded guilty to or been found guilty of any offense for which a person must register as a sexual offender. A state agency, board or commission shall be prohibited from hiring an applicant who fails to disclose his or her criminal history.

A state department, agency, board, or commission shall not be required to request a criminal background check under this section if otherwise required to request an identical background check under another provision of law.

SECTION 43.519 - CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR PRIVATE EMPLOYEES

Under this section, before an employer with more than 10 employees hires an individual seventeen years of age or older for a position with substantial direct contact with children under the age of 16, the employer shall request a criminal background check.

An employer with more than 10 employees shall require a person seventeen years of age or older applying for such a position to provide all addresses at which the person has resided during the current and previous five calendar years. The employer shall be required to have a national criminal background check, or a criminal background check from each state for which the applicant has provided an address, conducted on such person.

The employer may require the applicant to reimburse the employer for the cost of such record check.

An applicant for such a position must sign a consent form so the private employer may request a criminal records review and ask the applicant to disclose his or her criminal history.

Any employer shall not be required to request a criminal background check under this section if otherwise required to request an identical background check under another provision of law.

This act states that employers with more than ten employees shall be deemed negligent if an employee commits a sexual offense against a child and had contact with the child victim of the offense through his or her employment and:

1) the employer failed to conduct a background check on the employee prior to hiring him or her; or

2) the employer conducted a background check revealing the person is a sexual offender and the employer knowingly hired such person after obtaining such information.

SUSAN HENDERSON MOORE