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Conducting Criminal Record Checks in Texas

Filed under Hiring Workers. Fact checked on August 7, 2013.

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

Personnel at facilities caring for the elderly and disabled, employees of agencies that provide child care services, and private school personnel are required to undergo criminal background checks.

A person convicted of specified offenses may not be employed at certain facilities caring for the elderly and disabled.

Applicants for security sensitive positions at institutions of higher education may be required to submit criminal history information.

An in-home service company or residential delivery company must obtain from the Department of Public Safety or a private vendor approved by the Department and offering services comparable to services offered by the Department all criminal history record information relating to an officer, employee, or prospective employee of the company whose job duties require or will require entry into another person's residence.

The Health and Human Services Commission has adopted drug testing requirements for residential child care facilities. This drug testing policy applies to employees who have direct contact with children. Mandatory drug testing is required for:

  • pre-employment, and the individual can not have access to children until the drug tests are available
  • employees on a random and unannounced basis
  • employees who are alleged to be abusing drugs

Operators, caregivers and employees who have direct access to children in small employer child care facilities of 50 or less employees are required to undergo a criminal background check. The criminal background check must be done by the Department of Public Safety using information made available by their department, the FBI, or the department's records of reported abuse and neglect.

If a facility providing services for the elderly and disabled employs a person pending a criminal history check, the facility must ensure that the person does not have direct contact with a consumer until the facility obtains the person's criminal history record information and verifies that the person is employable.

The security department of a private business may not hire or employ an individual to perform the duties of a private security officer if the individual has been convicted of a crime that would bar the person from being registered as a security officer under the law.

Certain open enrollment charter school employees, non-certified employees hired after January 1, 2008, and substitute teachers must submit fingerprint and other identification information to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) in the form that the DPS requires so that these persons' criminal history record information can be entered in the DPS Criminal History Clearinghouse.

If a biometric identifier captured for a commercial purpose has been collected for security purposes by an employer, the purpose for collecting the identifier is presumed to expire on termination of the employment relationship.

Negligent hiring liability. Effective June 14, 2013, employers in Texas are not liable for negligent hiring or failing to adequately supervise when they hire individuals with criminal convictions, with certain exceptions.

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