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Conducting Criminal Record Checks in New Jersey

Filed under Hiring Workers. Fact checked on May 25, 2012.

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Employers in New Jersey are permitted or required to conduct criminal record checks in accordance with these rules.

Criminal history background checks must be conducted on current and prospective employees in direct contact with institutionalized elderly persons. Facilities are prohibited from hiring any unlicensed person serving in a position that involves regular contact with an elderly patient. However, certain individuals may be hired on a conditional basis for no more than 180 days pending completion of a criminal history background check.

Individuals will not be disqualified from employment on the basis of a conviction disclosed by a criminal history background check if they have affirmatively demonstrated clear and convincing evidence of rehabilitation. Individuals refusing to consent to or cooperate in the securing of a criminal history background check will not be considered for employment. The prospective employer may require the prospective employee to pay the cost of the background check.

New Jersey requires, as a condition of obtaining or renewing a child care center license, that a criminal history background check be conducted for each staff member to determine if there are any reported incidents of child abuse or neglect involving the employees. Staff members must provide written consent for the background checks. A refusal to consent must result in immediate termination of employment. Staff members will be charged a fee for the background checks. The center may, at its discretion, offer to pay for or reimburse the staff member for the cost of the background check.

New Jersey law requires staff members of residential child care facilities to undergo criminal history record background and child abuse record information checks.

The Department of Health and Senior Services may not issue a nurse aide or personal care assistant certification to any applicant, except on a conditional basis (with a 180-day limit), unless there is first a determination that no criminal history record information exists that would disqualify that person from being certified.

In addition, the New Jersey Board of Nursing may not issue a homemaker-home health care aide certificate to any applicant, except on a conditional basis for 180 days, unless the board first determines that no criminal history record information exists that would disqualify that person from being certified. If a background check reveals a relevant criminal conviction, but the individual has evidence of rehabilitation, the individual will not be disqualified from certification. An applicant for certification who refuses to cooperate in securing a criminal history record check may not be issued a certificate. The employer or prospective may pay the cost of the criminal record background check or require that the employee or prospective employee bear the cost of the check.

Criminal background checks may be required of private school employees.

The Casino Control Commission has the authority to prescribe procedures for the fingerprinting of licensee employees that may be necessary for casino floor restrictions.

Applicants for employment and current employees of mental hospitals must file a set of fingerprints and written consent with the Commissioner of Human Services for a criminal background check.

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