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Conducting Criminal Record Checks in Oregon

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

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

Employers in Oregon may seek information about employees but must tell the employees and prospective employees that the information might be sought.

Employers in Oregon may not refuse to hire or discharge an individual because of a juvenile record that has been expunged unless there is a bona fide occupational requirement reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the employer's business present.

Employees of early childhood care and education programs are required to undergo a criminal records check.

Private schools may request criminal background information on subject individuals seeking employment from the state police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, through the Department of Education. The private school may recover the cost or a portion of the cost from the subject individual.

If the criminal records check indicates that the individual was convicted of a relevant crime or made a false statement as to the conviction of a crime, the private school may decide not to employ the individual.

Individuals subject to the check include:

  1. an individual applying for initial licensing as a teacher, administrator or personnel specialist who has not submitted to a criminal records check within the previous year with the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission;
  2. an individual who is applying for reinstatement of a license as a teacher, administrator or personnel specialist whose license has lapsed for at least three years;
  3. an individual who is applying for initial licensing as a certified school nurse;
  4. a school district or private school contractor, whether part-time or full-time, or an employee of a school district contractor, whether part-time or full-time, who has direct, unsupervised contact with students, as determined by the school district or private school;
  5. an individual newly hired, whether part-time or full-time, by a school district or private school in a capacity not described in (1), (2) or (3) above who had direct, unsupervised contact with children, as determined by the school district or private school;
  6. an individual employee, whether part-time or full-time, of a school district in a capacity not described in (1), (2) or (3) above who has direct, unsupervised contact with children, as determined by the school district;
  7. an individual who is registering with the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission for student teaching, practicum or internship as a teacher, administrator or personnel specialist, if the individual has not submitted to a criminal records check within the previous year with the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission for student teaching, practicum or internship as a teacher, administrator or personnel specialist; or
  8. an individual who is a community college faculty member providing instruction at a kindergarten through grade 12 school site during the regular school day. Subject individuals do not include individuals described in (4), (5), (6) or (7) above if the individual or the individual's employer was checked in one school district or private school and is currently seeking work in another school district or private school, unless the individual lived outside the state during the period between the two periods of time working in the school district or private school.

Child-care agencies may hire only persons (subject individuals) who have been enrolled in the Criminal History Registry, established and maintained by the Child Care Division of the Employment Department. If an individual has been convicted of a crime relevant to their working with children or made a false statement as to their conviction of a crime, the Division will determine whether the individual may be enrolled in the registry. Individuals may be enrolled only if they have no criminal or child protective services history or if they have dealt with the issues and provided evidence of suitability for the registry. Individuals who refuse to consent to a criminal record check or refuse to be fingerprinted will not be enrolled in the registry.

The Child Care Division may conditionally enroll an individual in the Criminal History Registry pending the results of a nationwide criminal records check through the FBI if the individual has met other requirements for enrollment. A child care facility may employ on a probationary basis a person who is conditionally enrolled in the registry.

Subject individuals, for purposes of the Criminal History Registry are individuals who apply to be:

  • the operator or an employee of a child care or treatment program
  • the operator or an employee of an Oregon prekindergarten program or parent-as-teacher program
  • the operator or an employee of a federal Head Start program, regulated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services
  • an employee of the Child Care Division of the Employment Department
  • an individual in a child care facility who may have unsupervised contact with children, as identified by the Division
  • a contractor or an employee of a contractor who provides early childhood special education or early intervention services
  • a child care provider who is required to be enrolled in the Criminal History Registry by any state agency
  • enrolled in the Criminal History Registry

For the purposes of requesting a state or nationwide criminal records check, the Department of Education may require the fingerprints of a school district or private school contractor, whether part-time or full-time, or an employee thereof, who has direct, unsupervised contact with students as determined by the district or private school.

For purposes of licensing, certifying, registering or otherwise regulating or administering programs, a criminal record check, including fingerprint identification, must be conducted on all individuals that provide care, treatment, education, training, instruction, supervision, placement services, recreation or support to children, the elderly or persons with disabilities. Individuals that are determined to be unfit may not be employed, licensed, certified or registered. Individuals may, however, be hired on a probationary basis, pending the results of a criminal background check. Refusing to consent to a criminal background check will result in a denial or termination of employment.

Pharmacy technicians must renew their registrations annually and provide, among other information, updated information regarding work history and criminal arrest and conviction history.

Mortgage bankers and brokers are required to conduct criminal background checks of loan originators they employ or intend to employ.

If a private school contractor, whether part-time or full-time, or an employee of a contractor has been convicted of a certain crime, a private school may choose not to employ or contract with the person. A private school may hire on a probationary basis a private school contractor, whether part-time or full-time, or an employee of a contractor, pending the return of the criminal records check.

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