Article 16.

Miscellaneous Provisions.

131E-265. Criminal history record checks required for certain applicants for employment.

(a) Requirement; Nursing Home or Home Care Agency. - An offer of employment by a nursing home licensed under this Chapter to an applicant to fill a position that does not require the applicant to have an occupational license is conditioned on consent to a criminal history record check of the applicant. If the applicant has been a resident of this State for less than five years, then the offer of employment is conditioned on consent to a State and national criminal history record check of the applicant. The national criminal history record check shall include a check of the applicant's fingerprints. If the applicant has been a resident of this State for five years or more, then the offer is conditioned on consent to a State criminal history record check of the applicant. An offer of employment by a home care agency licensed under this Chapter to an applicant to fill a position that requires entering the patient's home is conditioned on consent to a criminal history record check of the applicant. In addition, employment status change of a current employee of a home care agency licensed under this Chapter from a position that does not require entering the patient's home to a position that requires entering the patient's home shall be conditioned on consent to a criminal history record check of that current employee. If the applicant for employment or if the current employee who is changing employment status has been a resident of this State for less than five years, then the offer of employment or change in employment status is conditioned on consent to a State and national criminal history record check. The national criminal history record check shall include a check of the applicant's or current employee's fingerprints. If the applicant or current employee has been a resident of this State for five years or more, then the offer is conditioned on consent to a State criminal history record check of the applicant or current employee applying for a change in employment status. A nursing home or a home care agency shall not employ an applicant who refuses to consent to a criminal history record check required by this section. In addition, a home care agency shall not change a current employee's employment status from a position that does not require entering the patient's home to a position that requires entering the patient's home who refuses to consent to a criminal history record check required by this section. Within five business days of making the conditional offer of employment, a nursing home or home care agency shall submit a request to the Department of Public Safety under G.S. 143B-939 to conduct a State or national criminal history record check required by this section, or shall submit a request to a private entity to conduct a State criminal history record check required by this section. Notwithstanding G.S. 143B-939, the Department of Public Safety shall return the results of national criminal history record checks for employment positions not covered by Public Law 105-277 to the Department of Health and Human Services, Criminal Records Check Unit. Within five business days of receipt of the national criminal history of the person, the Department of Health and Human Services, Criminal Records Check Unit, shall notify the nursing home or home care agency as to whether the information received may affect the employability of the applicant. In no case shall the results of the national criminal history record check be shared with the nursing home or home care agency. Nursing homes and home care agencies shall make available upon request verification that a criminal history check has been completed on any staff covered by this section. All criminal history information received by the home or agency is confidential and may not be disclosed, except to the applicant as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

(a1) Requirement; Contract Agency of Nursing Home or Home Care Agency. - An offer of employment by a contract agency of a nursing home or home care agency licensed under this Chapter to an applicant to fill a position that does not require the applicant to have an occupational license is conditioned upon consent to a criminal history record check of the applicant. If the applicant has been a resident of this State for less than five years, then the offer of employment is conditioned on consent to a State and national criminal history record check of the applicant. The national criminal history record check shall include a check of the applicant's fingerprints. If the applicant has been a resident of this State for five years or more, then the offer is conditioned on consent to a State criminal history record check of the applicant. A contract agency of a nursing home or home care agency shall not employ an applicant who refuses to consent to a criminal history record check required by this section. Within five business days of making the conditional offer of employment, a contract agency of a nursing home or home care agency shall submit a request to the Department of Public Safety under G.S. 143B-939 to conduct a State or national criminal history record check required by this section, or shall submit a request to a private entity to conduct a State criminal history record check required by this section. Notwithstanding G.S. 143B-939, the Department of Public Safety shall return the results of national criminal history record checks for employment positions not covered by Public Law 105-277 to the Department of Health and Human Services, Criminal Records Check Unit. Within five business days of receipt of the national criminal history of the person, the Department of Health and Human Services, Criminal Records Check Unit, shall notify the contract agency of the nursing home or home care agency as to whether the information received may affect the employability of the applicant. In no case shall the results of the national criminal history record check be shared with the contract agency of the nursing home or home care agency. Contract agencies of nursing homes and home care agencies shall make available upon request verification that a criminal history check has been completed on any staff covered by this section. All criminal history information received by the contract agency is confidential and may not be disclosed, except to the applicant as provided by subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Action. - If an applicant's criminal history record check reveals one or more convictions of a relevant offense, the nursing home or home care agency, or the contract agency of a nursing home or home care agency, shall consider all of the following factors in determining whether to hire the applicant:

(1) The level and seriousness of the crime.

(2) The date of the crime.

(3) The age of the person at the time of the conviction.

(4) The circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime, if known.

(5) The nexus between the criminal conduct of the person and the job duties of the position to be filled.

(6) The prison, jail, probation, parole, rehabilitation, and employment records of the person since the date the crime was committed.

(7) The subsequent commission by the person of a relevant offense.

The fact of conviction of a relevant offense alone shall not be a bar to employment; however, the listed factors shall be considered by the nursing home or home care agency, or the contract agency of the nursing home or home care agency. If a nursing home, home care agency, or contract agency of a nursing home or home care agency disqualifies an applicant after consideration of the relevant factors, then the nursing home, home care agency, or contract agency may disclose information contained in the criminal history record check that is relevant to the disqualification, but may not provide a copy of the criminal history record check to the applicant.

(c) Limited Immunity. - An entity and an officer or employee of an entity that, in good faith, complies with this section is not liable for the failure of the entity to employ an individual on the basis of information provided in the criminal history record check of the individual.

(d) Relevant Offense. - As used in this section, the term "relevant offense" has the same meaning as in G.S. 131D-40.

(e) Penalty for Furnishing False Information. - Any applicant for employment who willfully furnishes, supplies, or otherwise gives false information on an employment application that is the basis for a criminal history record check under this section shall be guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor.

(f) Conditional Employment. - A nursing home or home care agency may employ an applicant conditionally prior to obtaining the results of a criminal history record check regarding the applicant if both of the following requirements are met:

(1) The nursing home or home care agency shall not employ an applicant prior to obtaining the applicant's consent for a criminal history record check as required in subsection (a) of this section or the completed fingerprint cards as required in G.S. 143B-939.

(2) The nursing home or home care agency shall submit the request for a criminal history record check not later than five business days after the individual begins conditional employment.

(g) Immunity From Liability. - An entity and officers and employees of an entity shall be immune from civil liability for failure to check an employee's history of criminal offenses if the employee's criminal history record check is requested and received in compliance with this section.

(h) For purposes of this section, the term "private entity" means a business regularly engaged in conducting criminal history record checks utilizing public records obtained from a State agency. (1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 606, s. 3; 1997-125, s. 2; 1997-140, s. 4; 2000-154, ss. 3(a),(b); 2004-124, s. 10.19D(a); 2005-4, ss. 8, 9; 2007-444, s. 3.2; 2014-100, s. 17.1(iii).)