DAR File No. 39922

This rule was published in the December 1, 2015, issue (Vol. 2015, No. 23) of the Utah State Bulletin.


Human Services, Administration

Rule R495-885

Employee Background Screenings

Notice of Proposed Rule

(New Rule)

DAR File No.: 39922
Filed: 11/06/2015 02:07:32 PM

RULE ANALYSIS

Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

The purpose of this new rule is to create a Department of Human Services (DHS) employee background screening process involving the use and retention of fingerprints as allowed by Section 62A-2-120 due to changes from H.B. 145 (2015 General Session).

Summary of the rule or change:

This rule creates a background screening process for DHS employees in order to enhance the safety of DHS clientele and promote the public trust.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Section 62A-1-118
  • Section 62A-2-120

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

This will cost the DHS approximately $170,000 in the first year with approximately $60,000 a year ongoing costs. These fees are for the $52.75 charge that will be paid per person for employees/volunteers subject to the submission of the prints through DHS to Public Safety. This fee is set by FBI and Public Safety and includes the FBI rap back system of criminal feedback reporting.

local governments:

No impact for local government. Only DHS budget is affected.

small businesses:

No impact for small businesses. Only DHS budget is affected.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

No impact for other entities. Only DHS budget is affected.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

No person will bear a compliance cost. The compliance costs will be borne by the DHS.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

This process will have no direct fiscal impact on businesses in our community.

Ann Williamson, Executive Director

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:

Human Services
Administration
Room DHS ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE MULTI STATE OFFICE BUILDING
195 N 1950 W
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84116

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Julene Robbins at the above address, by phone at 801-538-4521, by FAX at 801-538-3942, or by Internet E-mail at jhjonesrobbins@utah.gov
  • Diane Moore at the above address, by phone at 801-538-4235, by FAX at 801-538-4553, or by Internet E-mail at dmoore@utah.gov

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:

12/31/2015

This rule may become effective on:

01/07/2016

Authorized by:

Ann Williamson, Executive Director

RULE TEXT

R495. Human Services, Administration.

R495-885. Employee Background Screenings.

R495-885-1. Authority and Purpose.

(1) This Rule is authorized by Sections 62A-1-118 and 62A-2-120.

(2) This Rule clarifies the standards for Department of Human Services' employee and volunteer background screening.

(3) This Rule is created to hold DHS employees and volunteers to high standards of conduct, protect children and vulnerable adults, and promote public trust.

 

R495-885-2. Definitions.

(1) "BCI" means the Bureau of Criminal Identification, and is the designated state agency of the Division of Criminal Investigation and Technical Services Division, within the Department of Public Safety, responsible to maintain criminal records in the State of Utah.

(2) "Child" is defined in Section 62A-2-101.

(3) "Department" or "DHS" means the Department of Human Services.

(4) "Direct Access" is defined in Section 62A-2-101.

(5) "Director" means the Director of each DHS Office or Division, and includes the Director's designee.

(6) "Employee" means a prospective employee who has received a job offer from DHS or a current employee of DHS, and includes paid interns.

(7) "Executive Director" means the Executive Director of DHS or the Deputy Director designated by the Executive Director.

(8) "FBI rap back" is defined in Section 53-10-108.

(9) "Fingerprints" means an individual's fingerprints as copied electronically through a live-scan fingerprinting device or on two ten-print fingerprint cards.

(10) "Volunteer" means an individual who donates services without pay or other compensation, except expenses actually and reasonably incurred and pre-approved by the supervising agency, and includes unpaid interns.

(11) "Vulnerable adult" is defined in Section 62A-2-101.

 

R495-885-3. Employees and Volunteers with Direct Access.

(1) The Department finds that a criminal history or identification as a perpetrator of abuse or neglect is directly relevant to an individual's employment or volunteer activities within DHS.

(2) All Department employees and volunteers with potential direct access must have an annual background screening clearance in accordance with Sections 62A-1-118 and 62A-2-120.

(3) Department employees and volunteers who may have direct access shall:

(a) Submit a background screening application to their respective Division or Office on a form created by the Department; and

(b) Submit fingerprints

(i) to the Department via a DHS-operated live-scan machine;

(ii) to the Department via two ten-print fingerprint cards produced by a law enforcement agency, an agency approved by the BCI, or another entity pre-approved by the Department;

(iii) to BCI for an Office or Division clearance, subject to the following conditions:

(A) The fingerprints are retained by BCI for FBI rap back; and

(B) The Office or Division ensures that the minimum standards set forth in Section 62A-2-120 are enforced; or

(iv) to the Department of Health for employees and volunteers of the Utah State Developmental Center per code.

(4) The DHS Office of Licensing shall access information to perform the background checks described in Sections 62A-1-118 and 62A-2-120.

(a) The DHS Office of Licensing will not duplicate fingerprint-based criminal background checks on Department employees or volunteers who have a current fingerprint-based criminal background clearance pursuant to R495-885-3(3).

(b) The fingerprints submitted by DHS employees who are required to obtain a background screening pursuant to Section 62A-2-120 as an individual associated with a licensee shall be utilized to perform the screening required by this R495-885. Screening results shall be reviewed in accordance with both the standards required by Section 62A-2-120 and this R495-885.

(5) Except as described in R495-885-5, Department employees and volunteers who would automatically be denied a background screening approval as described in Section 62A-2-120(5)(a) are not eligible for work with the Department.

(6) Except as described in R495-885-5, Department employees and volunteers who have any offense or finding described in Section 62A-2-120(6)(a) are not eligible for work with the Department.

(7) Each Division and Office shall develop and implement a protocol to ensure renewal background screening applications are submitted to the DHS Office of Licensing annually for all database systems that are not included in the FBI rap back fingerprint process.

 

R495-885-4. Employees with No Direct Access.

(1) The Department finds that a criminal history is directly relevant to an individual's employment

activities within DHS.

(2) The Department is not authorized to perform the checks described in Sections 62A-1-118 and 62A-2-120 for employees with no direct access.

(3) Each Division and Office will identify which of their positions includes no potential for direct access.

(4) Each employee who does not potentially have direct access shall submit an "Authorization and Waiver for Criminal History Check" form to a Department of Human Resources Management, DHS Field Office authorizing DHRM to perform name-based background checks.

(5) Except as described in R495-885-5, Department employees who would automatically be denied a background screening approval based upon the offenses described in Section 62A-2-120(5)(a) are not eligible for work with the Department.

(6) Except as described in R495-885-5, Department employees who have any offense described in Section 62A-2-120(6)(a) are not eligible for work with the Department.

 

R495-885-5. Background Screening Review.

(1) The Office of Licensing or the Department of Human Resources Management, DHS Field Office shall notify the Director of the background screening results of each prospective employee, employee, and volunteer.

(2) The Director shall review the background screening results of each prospective employee, employee, and volunteer.

(3) Review criteria for prospective or probationary employees and volunteers:

(a) Automatic denial offenses outlined in 62A-2-120(5)(a) are not eligible for review by the DHS Employee and Volunteer Comprehensive Review Committee:

(b) The Director has sole discretion to determine whether to deny employment or refer a prospective or probationary employee or volunteer with the following background screening findings to the DHS Employee and VolunteerComprehensive Review Committee:

(i) All other circumstances outlined in 62A-2-120(6)(a), or

(ii) any MIS supported or substantiated findings (for individuals with direct access only)

(c) The determinations of the Director and the DHS Employee and Volunteer Comprehensive Review Committee are final, and a prospective or probationary employee or volunteer has no right to appeal.

(4) Review process for non-probationary employees:

(a) The following background screening findings shall be submitted to the Director:

(i) Automatic denial offenses outlined in 62A-2-120(5)(a),

(ii) All other circumstances outlined in 62A-2-120(6)(a), or

(iii) any MIS supported or substantiated findings.

(b) The Director may consult with the Executive Director and/or the Office of Licensing, and shall evaluate whether the non-probationary employee may present a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult or does not meet DHS high standards of conduct or promote public trust..

(c) The Executive Director may, in his/her sole discretion, approve the non-probationary employee for continued employment, including defining permissible and impermissible DHS-wide work-related activities, or consult the Department of Human Resource Management regarding termination of employment. The determination of the Executive Director is final.

 

R495-885-6. DHS Employee and Volunteer Comprehensive Review Committee.

(1) The Director of the following Department divisions and offices shall appoint one member and one alternate to serve on the DHS Employee and Volunteer Comprehensive Review Committee:

(a) the Executive Director's Office;

(b) the Division of Aging and Adult Services;

(c) the Division of Child and Family Services;

(d) the Division of Juvenile Justice Services;

(e) the Division of Services for People with Disabilities;

(f) the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health;

(g) Public Guardian; and

(i) the Office of Licensing.

(2) DHS Employee and Volunteer Comprehensive Review Committee members and alternates shall be professional staff persons who are familiar with the programs they represent.

(3) The appointed Office of Licensing member shall chair the DHS Employee and Volunteer Comprehensive Review Committee as a non-voting member.

(4) Five voting members shall constitute a quorum.

(5) The DHS Employee and Volunteer Comprehensive Review Committee shall conduct a comprehensive review of a prospective or probationary employee or volunteer's background screening application, criminal history records, abuse, neglect or exploitation records, and related circumstances, in accordance with Section 62A-2-120(6).

 

R495-885-7. DHS Employee and Volunteer Comprehensive Review Process.

(1) The Office or Division may inform the prospective or probationary employee or volunteer that the results of a background screening indicate they have a criminal history or supported or substantiated findings of abuse or neglect, and the employee or volunteer may:

(a) voluntarily withdraw a pending employment or volunteer application;

(b) voluntarily terminate probationary employment; or

(c) request further review and submit any written statements or records that the employee or volunteer wants the DHS Employee and Volunteer Comprehensive Review Committee to consider, including but not limited to non-redacted documents relating to the results, the nature and seriousness of the offense or incident; the circumstances under which the offense or incident occurred; the age of the employee or volunteer when the offense or incident occurred; whether the offense or incident was an isolated or repeated incident; whether the offense or incident directly relates to abuse of a child or vulnerable adult, evidence of rehabilitation, counseling, psychiatric treatment received, or additional academic or vocational schooling completed.

(i) an employee or volunteer who wants the DHS Employee and Volunteer Comprehensive Review Committee to consider documents relating to the screening results shall submit the documents to the Office or Division within 15 calendar days of notification by the Office of Division.

(2) The Office or Division shall gather information from a prospective or probationary employee or volunteer who requests review and submit it to the DHS Employee and Volunteer Comprehensive Review Committee.

(a) The Division may redact any personally identifying information of the prospective or probationary employee or volunteer that does not compromise the content of the review.

(3) The DHS Employee and Volunteer Comprehensive Review Committee shall evaluate the information provided by the Office or Division and any information provided by the prospective or probationary employee or volunteer. The DHS Employee and Volunteer Comprehensive Review Committee shall consider:

the date of the offense or incident;

(a) the nature and seriousness of the offense or incident;

(b) the circumstances under which the offense or incident occurred;

(c) the age of prospective or probationary employee or volunteer when the offense or incident occurred;

(d) whether the offense or incident was an isolated or repeated incident;

(e) whether the offense or incident directly relates to abuse of a child or vulnerable adult,

(f) whether approval would likely create a risk of harm to a child or a vulnerable adult;

(g) whether the information may be relevant to the employment or volunteer activities of that person;

(h) whether the relevant information should be relied upon to deny employment or volunteer activities, and

(i) that the background screening approval may be transferred to other DHS Offices or Divisions.

(4) The DHS Employee and Volunteer Comprehensive Review Committee may approve the background screening of a prospective or probationary employee or volunteer only after a simple majority of the voting members of the DHS Employee and Volunteer Comprehensive Review Committee determines that approval will not likely create a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult or the prospective employee does not meet DHS high standards of conduct or promote public trust, and identify permissible and impermissible DHS-wide work-related activities.

(5) The DHS Employee and Volunteer Comprehensive Review Committee shall recommend denial of the background screening of a prospective or probationary employee or volunteer when it finds that approval will likely create a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult in any DHS Office or Division or the prospective or probationary employee or volunteer does not meet DHS high standards of conduct or promote public trust.

(6) Except as described below, a prospective employee or a volunteer whose background screening has been denied shall not be accepted as a volunteer or hired as an employee. A probationary employee whose background screening has been denied shall have no direct access and employment shall be terminated.

(a) A Director may, in his/her sole discretion, appeal the decision of the DHS Employee and Volunteer Comprehensive Review Committee to the Executive Director.

 

R495-885-8. Division/Office Responsibilities.

(1) The Department shall notify the DHS Office of Licensing within five months of the termination of each employee for whom fingerprints have been retained under Section 62A-2-120 to enable the Office of Licensing to notify BCI and ensure the destruction of fingerprints.

(2) Each Division and Office shall ensure that an employee or volunteer who previously was screened based upon having no direct access shall, prior to having any direct access, be screened and approved in accordance with R495-885.

 

R495-885-9. Compliance.

The Department will set an implementation schedule to be in compliance with this rule no later than December 31, 2016.

 

KEY: background, employees, human services, screening

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: 2016

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 62A-1-118; 62A-2-120

 


Additional Information

More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull-pdf/2015/b20151201.pdf. The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.

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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Julene Robbins at the above address, by phone at 801-538-4521, by FAX at 801-538-3942, or by Internet E-mail at jhjonesrobbins@utah.gov; Diane Moore at the above address, by phone at 801-538-4235, by FAX at 801-538-4553, or by Internet E-mail at dmoore@utah.gov.  For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Division of Administrative Rules.