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New Criminal Background Check Requirements for Home Care and Assisted Living in Virginia

By Michael Klazema on 4/16/2014

The state of Virginia recently passed House Bill 450 relating to the employment of individuals with criminal convictions. The new act amends the Code of Virginia § 32.1-126.01 relating to nursing homes; § 32.1-162.9:1 relating to home care organizations; § 63.2-1720 relating to assisted living facilities, adult day care centers or child welfare agencies; and other sections of the Code involving child care.

The changes made to the law specify that a facility must first obtain a criminal clearance or a criminal history record before placing a person in a position of direct contact with a patient or child, unless the person works under direct supervision of another employee that has been cleared. Criminal clearances and criminal history records are obtained through the State Police who administers the Central Criminal Records Exchange (CCRE). The CCRE is the sole repository for criminal records in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

House Bill 450 eliminates the lawful practice of allowing someone to work while a criminal background check or clearance is pending, without direct supervision.

The amendments to the sections relating to nursing homes and home care organizations are the same. The language added to the law is as follows:

“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 new language relating to assisted living facilities reads as follows:

“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.” 

The changes to the law become effective on July 1, 2014.

Virginia House Bill 450 is available for review here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+ful+CHAP0129+pdf.

 


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