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Conducting Criminal Record Checks in Tennessee

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

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

Tennessee requires employees who have direct contact with, or direct responsibility for, individuals with developmental disabilities, to undergo a criminal background check. The employer is required to notify the applicant or employee that the background check is required and the applicant or employee must agree to the following:

  • the release of all investigative records from any source
  • to supply a fingerprint sample for purposes of a criminal background check by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI)
  • to provide past work history containing a continuous description of activities over the past five years
  • the release of all investigative records for examination to verify the accuracy of criminal violation information
  • the release of information for a criminal background investigation by a Tennessee licensed private investigation company

The employer is responsible for the cost of the background check.

Home health services and child welfare agencies may require any person applying for employment, either as a paid employee or volunteer, to agree to the release of investigative records for the purpose of verifying the accuracy of criminal violation information contained on their work application. Applicants may also be required to supply fingerprint samples, or submit to a criminal history record check.

Adult day care center personnel are subject to criminal background checks.

Employees of home health and hospice services are required to undergo a criminal records check.

A person who is employed in a nursing home facility providing direct care to patients or residents is required to undergo a criminal background check prior to employment.

Employees of group day care homes are required to undergo a criminal history check and submit a set of fingerprints as a condition of employment.

Employees of child care centers serving preschool children are required to undergo a criminal history check.

Background checks are required for all employees of family daycare homes.

Employers are permitted to initiate a criminal background check on any person applying for employment or presently employed as a licensed emergency medical technician (EMT).

Tennessee has adopted the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact.

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