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Conducting Criminal Record Checks in Arkansas

Filed under Office & HR.

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

Criminal record checks are required for the following types of employment:

  • counseling
  • psychology
  • social work
  • teaching
  • nursing
  • long-term care facilities (operators and employees)
  • persons with direct contact with children, mentally ill and developmentally disabled persons
  • care for the elderly and individuals with disabilities
  • employment of criminal offenders

Persons seeking to expunge their criminal records are required to provide information on any pending felony charges.

A person may be disqualified for employment, licensure, or any other purpose for which a background check is conducted if it is determined that the person committed a violation of any sexual offense under state law.

Criminal Background Check Rules for Care Providers

Employees or conditional employees in licensed child care facilities or facilities operating with a church-operated exemption will be matched against records maintained by the Arkansas child abuse central registry for reports of child maltreatment. The background checks must occur prior to hire and every two years after hire. The child care facility review board may deny a license or church-operated exemption to any applicant found to have any record of child maltreatment. In the event that a legible set of fingerprints cannot be obtained after a minimum of three attempts, the review board will determine eligibility based on a name check.

In addition, without proof of rehabilitation, no person is eligible to be a child care facility owner, operator or employee in a licensed or church-operated exempt facility if that person has been found guilty of any of a list of felonies or misdemeanors involving violence or sexual misconduct.

Mandatory criminal background checks are required for ElderChoice providers--individuals and entities that provide services in the homes of individuals and that are designated by the state Division of Aging and Adult Services as ElderChoice providers.

In addition, criminal background checks are mandated for persons who provide care to the elderly or to individuals with disabilities, when the workers are placed by a private placement agency or contract staffing agency. The private placement or contracting agency is responsible for initiating the criminal background check.

Long term care facilities must not knowingly employ or hire a person who has been found guilty or has pled guilty or found nolo contendere to certain criminal offenses in any court in the State of Arkansas or any similar offense by a federal court.

Registered sex offenders are prohibited from engaging in employment that requires interaction with children.

Arkansas law requires a criminal background check by a private business that provides short-term child care facilities for its patrons.

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