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43.43.830  <<  43.43.832 >>   43.43.8321

RCW 43.43.832

Background checks — Disclosure of information — Sharing of criminal background information by health care facilities (as amended by 2012 c 10).

(1) The legislature finds that businesses and organizations providing services to children, developmentally disabled persons, and vulnerable adults need adequate information to determine which employees or licensees to hire or engage. The legislature further finds that many developmentally disabled individuals and vulnerable adults desire to hire their own employees directly and also need adequate information to determine which employees or licensees to hire or engage. Therefore, the Washington state patrol identification and criminal history section shall disclose, upon the request of a business or organization as defined in RCW 43.43.830, a developmentally disabled person, or a vulnerable adult as defined in RCW 43.43.830 or his or her guardian, an applicant's conviction record as defined in chapter 10.97 RCW.

     (2) The legislature also finds that the Washington professional educator standards board may request of the Washington state patrol criminal identification system information regarding a certificate applicant's conviction record under subsection (1) of this section.

     (3) The legislature also finds that law enforcement agencies, the office of the attorney general, prosecuting authorities, and the department of social and health services may request this same information to aid in the investigation and prosecution of child, developmentally disabled person, and vulnerable adult abuse cases and to protect children and adults from further incidents of abuse.

     (4) The legislature further finds that the secretary of the department of social and health services must establish rules and set standards to require specific action when considering the information listed in subsection (1) of this section, and when considering additional information including but not limited to civil adjudication proceedings as defined in RCW 43.43.830 and any out-of-state equivalent, in the following circumstances:

     (a) When considering persons for state employment in positions directly responsible for the supervision, care, or treatment of children, vulnerable adults, or individuals with mental illness or developmental disabilities;

     (b) When considering persons for state positions involving unsupervised access to vulnerable adults to conduct comprehensive assessments, financial eligibility determinations, licensing and certification activities, investigations, surveys, or case management; or for state positions otherwise required by federal law to meet employment standards;

     (c) When licensing agencies or facilities with individuals in positions directly responsible for the care, supervision, or treatment of children, developmentally disabled persons, or vulnerable adults, including but not limited to agencies or facilities licensed under chapter 74.15 or 18.51 RCW;

     (d) When contracting with individuals or businesses or organizations for the care, supervision, case management, or treatment, including peer counseling, of children, developmentally disabled persons, or vulnerable adults, including but not limited to services contracted for under chapter 18.20, 70.127, 70.128, 72.36, or 74.39A RCW or Title 71A RCW;

     (e) When individual providers are paid by the state or providers are paid by home care agencies to provide in-home services involving unsupervised access to persons with physical, mental, or developmental disabilities or mental illness, or to vulnerable adults as defined in chapter 74.34 RCW, including but not limited to services provided under chapter 74.39 or 74.39A RCW.

     (5) The director of the department of early learning shall investigate the conviction records, pending charges, and other information including civil adjudication proceeding records of current employees and of any person actively being considered for any position with the department who will or may have unsupervised access to children, or for state positions otherwise required by federal law to meet employment standards. "Considered for any position" includes decisions about (a) initial hiring, layoffs, reallocations, transfers, promotions, or demotions, or (b) other decisions that result in an individual being in a position that will or may have unsupervised access to children as an employee, an intern, or a volunteer.

     (6) The director of the department of early learning shall adopt rules and investigate conviction records, pending charges, and other information including civil adjudication proceeding records, in the following circumstances:

     (a) When licensing or certifying agencies with individuals in positions that will or may have unsupervised access to children who are in child day care, in early learning programs, or receiving early childhood education services, including but not limited to licensees, agency staff, interns, volunteers, contracted providers, and persons living on the premises who are sixteen years of age or older;

     (b) When authorizing individuals who will or may have unsupervised access to children who are in child day care, in early learning programs, or receiving early childhood learning education services in licensed or certified agencies, including but not limited to licensees, agency staff, interns, volunteers, contracted providers, and persons living on the premises who are sixteen years of age or older;

     (c) When contracting with any business or organization for activities that will or may have unsupervised access to children who are in child day care, in early learning programs, or receiving early childhood learning education services;

     (d) When establishing the eligibility criteria for individual providers to receive state paid subsidies to provide child day care or early learning services that will or may involve unsupervised access to children.

     (7) Whenever a state conviction record check is required by state law, persons may be employed or engaged as volunteers or independent contractors on a conditional basis pending completion of the state background investigation. Whenever a national criminal record check through the federal bureau of investigation is required by state law, a person may be employed or engaged as a volunteer or independent contractor on a conditional basis pending completion of the national check. The Washington personnel resources board shall adopt rules to accomplish the purposes of this subsection as it applies to state employees.

     (8)(a) For purposes of facilitating timely access to criminal background information and to reasonably minimize the number of requests made under this section, recognizing that certain health care providers change employment frequently, health care facilities may, upon request from another health care facility, share copies of completed criminal background inquiry information.

     (b) Completed criminal background inquiry information may be shared by a willing health care facility only if the following conditions are satisfied: The licensed health care facility sharing the criminal background inquiry information is reasonably known to be the person's most recent employer, no more than twelve months has elapsed from the date the person was last employed at a licensed health care facility to the date of their current employment application, and the criminal background information is no more than two years old.

     (c) If criminal background inquiry information is shared, the health care facility employing the subject of the inquiry must require the applicant to sign a disclosure statement indicating that there has been no conviction or finding as described in RCW 43.43.842 since the completion date of the most recent criminal background inquiry.

     (d) Any health care facility that knows or has reason to believe that an applicant has or may have a disqualifying conviction or finding as described in RCW 43.43.842, subsequent to the completion date of their most recent criminal background inquiry, shall be prohibited from relying on the applicant's previous employer's criminal background inquiry information. A new criminal background inquiry shall be requested pursuant to RCW 43.43.830 through 43.43.842.

     (e) Health care facilities that share criminal background inquiry information shall be immune from any claim of defamation, invasion of privacy, negligence, or any other claim in connection with any dissemination of this information in accordance with this subsection.

     (f) Health care facilities shall transmit and receive the criminal background inquiry information in a manner that reasonably protects the subject's rights to privacy and confidentiality.

     (g) For the purposes of this subsection, "health care facility" means a nursing home licensed under chapter 18.51 RCW, ((a boarding home)) an assisted living facility licensed under chapter 18.20 RCW, or an adult family home licensed under chapter 70.128 RCW.

[2012 c 10 § 41; 2011 c 253 § 6; 2007 c 387 § 10; 2006 c 263 § 826; 2005 c 421 § 2; 2000 c 87 § 1; 1997 c 392 § 524; 1995 c 250 § 2; 1993 c 281 § 51; 1990 c 3 § 1102. Prior: 1989 c 334 § 2; 1989 c 90 § 2; 1987 c 486 § 2.]

Notes:

     Application -- 2012 c 10: See note following RCW 18.20.010.

RCW 43.43.832

Background checks — Disclosure of information — Sharing of criminal background information by health care facilities (as amended by 2012 c 44).

(1) ((The legislature finds that businesses and organizations providing services to children, developmentally disabled persons, and vulnerable adults need adequate information to determine which employees or licensees to hire or engage. The legislature further finds that many developmentally disabled individuals and vulnerable adults desire to hire their own employees directly and also need adequate information to determine which employees or licensees to hire or engage. Therefore,)) The Washington state patrol identification and criminal history section shall disclose conviction records as follows:

     (a) An applicant's conviction record
, upon the request of a business or organization as defined in RCW 43.43.830, a developmentally disabled person, or a vulnerable adult as defined in RCW 43.43.830 or his or her guardian((, an applicant's conviction record as defined in chapter 10.97 RCW.

     (2) The legislature also finds that
));

     (b) The conviction record of an applicant for certification, upon the request of
the Washington professional educator standards board ((may request of the Washington state patrol criminal identification system information regarding a certificate applicant's conviction record under subsection (1) of this section.

     (3) The legislature also finds that law enforcement agencies
));

     (c) Any conviction record to aid in the investigation and prosecution of child, developmentally disabled person, and vulnerable adult abuse cases and to protect children and adults from further incidents of abuse, upon the request of a law enforcement agency
, the office of the attorney general, prosecuting ((authorities, and)) authority, or the department of social and health services ((may request this same information to aid in the investigation and prosecution of child, developmentally disabled person, and vulnerable adult abuse cases and to protect children and adults from further incidents of abuse.

     (4)
)); and

     (d) A prospective client's or resident's conviction record, upon the request of a business or organization that qualifies for exemption under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. Sec. 501(c)(3)) and that provides emergency shelter or transitional housing for children, persons with developmental disabilities, or vulnerable adults.

     (2)
The ((legislature further finds that the)) secretary of the department of social and health services must establish rules and set standards to require specific action when considering the information ((listed in)) received pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, and when considering additional information including but not limited to civil adjudication proceedings as defined in RCW 43.43.830 and any out-of-state equivalent, in the following circumstances:

     (a) When considering persons for state employment in positions directly responsible for the supervision, care, or treatment of children, vulnerable adults, or individuals with mental illness or developmental disabilities;

     (b) When considering persons for state positions involving unsupervised access to vulnerable adults to conduct comprehensive assessments, financial eligibility determinations, licensing and certification activities, investigations, surveys, or case management; or for state positions otherwise required by federal law to meet employment standards;

     (c) When licensing agencies or facilities with individuals in positions directly responsible for the care, supervision, or treatment of children, developmentally disabled persons, or vulnerable adults, including but not limited to agencies or facilities licensed under chapter 74.15 or 18.51 RCW;

     (d) When contracting with individuals or businesses or organizations for the care, supervision, case management, or treatment, including peer counseling, of children, developmentally disabled persons, or vulnerable adults, including but not limited to services contracted for under chapter 18.20, 70.127, 70.128, 72.36, or 74.39A RCW or Title 71A RCW;

     (e) When individual providers are paid by the state or providers are paid by home care agencies to provide in-home services involving unsupervised access to persons with physical, mental, or developmental disabilities or mental illness, or to vulnerable adults as defined in chapter 74.34 RCW, including but not limited to services provided under chapter 74.39 or 74.39A RCW.

     (((5))) (3) The director of the department of early learning shall investigate the conviction records, pending charges, and other information including civil adjudication proceeding records of current employees and of any person actively being considered for any position with the department who will or may have unsupervised access to children, or for state positions otherwise required by federal law to meet employment standards. "Considered for any position" includes decisions about (a) initial hiring, layoffs, reallocations, transfers, promotions, or demotions, or (b) other decisions that result in an individual being in a position that will or may have unsupervised access to children as an employee, an intern, or a volunteer.

     (((6))) (4) The director of the department of early learning shall adopt rules and investigate conviction records, pending charges, and other information including civil adjudication proceeding records, in the following circumstances:

     (a) When licensing or certifying agencies with individuals in positions that will or may have unsupervised access to children who are in child day care, in early learning programs, or receiving early childhood education services, including but not limited to licensees, agency staff, interns, volunteers, contracted providers, and persons living on the premises who are sixteen years of age or older;

     (b) When authorizing individuals who will or may have unsupervised access to children who are in child day care, in early learning programs, or receiving early childhood learning education services in licensed or certified agencies, including but not limited to licensees, agency staff, interns, volunteers, contracted providers, and persons living on the premises who are sixteen years of age or older;

     (c) When contracting with any business or organization for activities that will or may have unsupervised access to children who are in child day care, in early learning programs, or receiving early childhood learning education services;

     (d) When establishing the eligibility criteria for individual providers to receive state paid subsidies to provide child day care or early learning services that will or may involve unsupervised access to children.

     (((7))) (5) Whenever a state conviction record check is required by state law, persons may be employed or engaged as volunteers or independent contractors on a conditional basis pending completion of the state background investigation. Whenever a national criminal record check through the federal bureau of investigation is required by state law, a person may be employed or engaged as a volunteer or independent contractor on a conditional basis pending completion of the national check. The Washington personnel resources board shall adopt rules to accomplish the purposes of this subsection as it applies to state employees.

     (((8))) (6)(a) For purposes of facilitating timely access to criminal background information and to reasonably minimize the number of requests made under this section, recognizing that certain health care providers change employment frequently, health care facilities may, upon request from another health care facility, share copies of completed criminal background inquiry information.

     (b) Completed criminal background inquiry information may be shared by a willing health care facility only if the following conditions are satisfied: The licensed health care facility sharing the criminal background inquiry information is reasonably known to be the person's most recent employer, no more than twelve months has elapsed from the date the person was last employed at a licensed health care facility to the date of their current employment application, and the criminal background information is no more than two years old.

     (c) If criminal background inquiry information is shared, the health care facility employing the subject of the inquiry must require the applicant to sign a disclosure statement indicating that there has been no conviction or finding as described in RCW 43.43.842 since the completion date of the most recent criminal background inquiry.

     (d) Any health care facility that knows or has reason to believe that an applicant has or may have a disqualifying conviction or finding as described in RCW 43.43.842, subsequent to the completion date of their most recent criminal background inquiry, shall be prohibited from relying on the applicant's previous employer's criminal background inquiry information. A new criminal background inquiry shall be requested pursuant to RCW 43.43.830 through 43.43.842.

     (e) Health care facilities that share criminal background inquiry information shall be immune from any claim of defamation, invasion of privacy, negligence, or any other claim in connection with any dissemination of this information in accordance with this subsection.

     (f) Health care facilities shall transmit and receive the criminal background inquiry information in a manner that reasonably protects the subject's rights to privacy and confidentiality.

     (((g) For the purposes of this subsection, "health care facility" means a nursing home licensed under chapter 18.51 RCW, a boarding home licensed under chapter 18.20 RCW, or an adult family home licensed under chapter 70.128 RCW.))

[2012 c 44 § 2; 2011 c 253 § 6; 2007 c 387 § 10; 2006 c 263 § 826; 2005 c 421 § 2; 2000 c 87 § 1; 1997 c 392 § 524; 1995 c 250 § 2; 1993 c 281 § 51; 1990 c 3 § 1102. Prior: 1989 c 334 § 2; 1989 c 90 § 2; 1987 c 486 § 2.]

Notes:

     Reviser's note: RCW 43.43.832 was amended twice during the 2012 legislative session, each without reference to the other. For rule of construction concerning sections amended more than once during the same legislative session, see RCW 1.12.025.

     Findings -- Purpose -- Part headings not law -- 2006 c 263: See notes following RCW 28A.150.230.

     Short title--Findings -- Construction--Conflict with federal requirements--Part headings and captions not law--1997 c 392: See notes following RCW 74.39A.009.

     Effective date -- 1993 c 281: See note following RCW 41.06.022.

     Index, part headings not law -- Severability -- Effective dates -- Application -- 1990 c 3: See RCW 18.155.900 through 18.155.902.