PUBLIC ASSISTANCE AND WELFARE
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND WELFARE
56-1004A. Criminal history and background checks. (1) To assist in the protection of children and vulnerable adults, the legislature hereby authorizes the department of health and welfare to conduct criminal history and background checks of individuals who provide care or services to vulnerable adults or children and are identified in rule as being required to have a criminal history and background check.
(2) To further assist in the protection of vulnerable adults, the department of health and welfare may:
(a) Conduct criminal history and background checks of those seeking guardianship or conservatorship and those who reside in an incapacitated person’s proposed residence;
(b) Make the findings of such criminal history and background checks available to visitors, guardians ad litem and evaluation committees appointed pursuant to chapter 5, title 15 or chapter 4, title 66, Idaho Code; and
(c) Promulgate such rules as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.
The provisions of subsection (6) of this section shall not apply to criminal history and background checks conducted pursuant to this subsection.
(3) Criminal history and background checks will be conducted by the department of health and welfare when:
(b) Requested by those required to undergo such checks; and
(c) Paid for in full by those required to undergo such checks.
(4) The criminal history and background check will be a fingerprint-based check of state and national records and may include information from the following:
(a) Statewide criminal identification bureau;
(b) Federal bureau of investigation (FBI);
(c) Statewide sex offender registry;
(d) Idaho transportation department driving records;
(e) Adult and child protection registries;
(f) Nurse aide registry; and
(g) Department of health and human services office of the inspector general list of excluded individuals and entities.
(5) The department of health and welfare shall promulgate rules to further define those individuals who are required to have a criminal history and background check and the effective date. Each individual shall complete an application, which includes a notarized signature, on forms provided by the department. The completed application authorizes the department to obtain and release information in accordance with state and federal law. The applicant must disclose all information requested, including information on past convictions, driver’s license revocations, and known adult or child protection findings. Once an application has been completed, the employer, at its discretion, may allow the individual to provide care or services prior to the individual completing fingerprinting and pending completion of the criminal history and background check by the department. The department shall promulgate rules defining the time frame for submitting the application. Under no circumstances may the individual be allowed to provide care or services where the employer has reviewed the completed application and the individual has disclosed a designated crime as set forth in rule.
(6) The department shall review the information received from the criminal history and background check and determine whether the applicant has a criminal or other relevant record that would disqualify the individual. The department shall determine which crimes disqualify the applicant and for what period of time according to promulgated rules. The process for the check and the issuance of a clearance or denial is set forth in department rules. The applicant shall be provided an opportunity for a formal review of a denial. The department shall communicate clearance or denial to the applicant and the applicant’s employer.
(7) Applicants are responsible for the cost of the criminal history and background check except where otherwise provided by department rules.
(8) The department, or an employer of an applicant, who acts in reasonable reliance on the results of the criminal history and background check in making an employment decision, is immune from liability for that decision when it is based on such results.
(9) The department, its officers and employees are immune from liability for the consequences of including or excluding classes of individuals in the criminal history and background check process.
(10) Clearance through the criminal history and background check process is not a determination of suitability for employment.
[56-1004A, added 2005, ch. 312, sec. 1, p. 970; am. 2006, ch. 281, sec. 1, p. 864; am. 2010, ch. 235, sec. 54, p. 590; am. 2013, ch. 262, sec. 4, p. 642; am. 2016, ch. 107, sec. 1, p. 310; am. 2020, ch. 54, sec. 1, p. 134.]