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Friday, August 18, 2017

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Background screening laws tighten for child-care industry

Background screening laws tighten for child-care industry

Any company hiring employees who will be in close contact with children must pay careful attention to rules regarding background checks. In some states, organizations are required by law to scrutinize hires interacting with children and other vulnerable populations.

Concerns about child welfare have tightened background screening laws nationwide. In Georgia, for instance, all employees of licensed child-care facilities must undergo a state and federal criminal records check and obtain a "satisfactory determination" from the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL). Beginning January 1, 2019, every child-care worker will need a records check issued by DECAL within the last five years, with a new fingerprint background check required every five years thereafter.

Pennsylvania workers in routine contact with kids submit to state and federal background checks, including compulsory periodic rechecks throughout their employment. In May, a Pennsylvania appellate court overturned a court order that prohibited local school districts from conducting background checks of employees on school roofing projects while the legality of those checks was still being determined. Federal law states that all background investigations on child-care workers must include a search of:

* The National Crime Information Center database

* Child Protection Register 

* FBI fingerprint database

* National Sex Offender Registry

* State criminal, child abuse and sex offender registries in every state the applicant has lived over the past five years

Regardless of state requirements, investigating employees for any history of abuse or violence may comfort parents entrusting your organization with the care of their children. Failure to properly screen a candidate can also help you avoid potential legal liability and other workplace issues.

All background checks must follow standards set by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that give applicants notice when their records are being checked. An established, knowledgeable background check company will make sure to get the candidate's consent before doing the screening. In addition, applicants rejected on the basis of the check receive a copy of the report, the contents of which the hire has a right to dispute.

OPENonline is a trusted source for comprehensive background screenings. For more information, visit our website.

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