Current Status Bill Number:
3331Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 19970129Primary Sponsor: KnottsAll Sponsors: Knotts, Koon, G. Brown, Dantzler, Keegan, Barfield, Askins, Maddox, Meacham, Fleming, Limehouse, Limbaugh, Simrill, Mason, Altman, Wilkins, Edge, Lloyd, Whatley, Felder, Stoddard, Rice, Cotty, Neilson, Inabinett, Rhoad, Bailey, Stille, Jordan, McMaster, Allison, Trotter, Cooper, Seithel, Harrison, Robinson, Young-Brickell, Webb, T. Brown, Howard, Byrd, J. Smith, D. Smith, Riser, Martin, Witherspoon, Kelley, Tripp, H. Brown, Wilkes, McCraw, Haskins, Lee, Woodrum, Wilder, Young, Bauer, Harrell, R. Smith, Littlejohn, Davenport, Beck, Gamble, Miller, Hinson, Spearman, Battle, J. Brown, Harvin, Stuart, Lanford, Phillips, Scott, Campsen, Klauber, Rodgers, Cato, McLeod, Mullen, Quinn, Law, Hawkins, Walker and KirshDrafted Document Number: jic\5171ac.97Residing Body: HouseCurrent Committee: Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee 27 H3MSubject: Health care facility, nursing home caregivers; criminal record checks; Residential Care Facilities, Law Enforcement
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ House 19970225 Referred to Committee 27 H3M House 19970225 Recalled from Committee 25 HJ House 19970129 Introduced, read first time, 25 HJ referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO AMEND CHAPTER 7, TITLE 44, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO HOSPITALS, TUBERCULOSIS CAMPS, AND HEALTH SERVICES DISTRICTS, BY ADDING ARTICLE 23 SO AS TO REQUIRE APPLICANTS FOR EMPLOYMENT WITH NURSING HOMES AND HOME HEALTH AGENCIES TO UNDERGO CRIMINAL BACKGROUND INVESTIGATIONS AND TO PROVIDE IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY FOR PROVIDING THIS INFORMATION OR USING IT TO DENY OR TERMINATE EMPLOYMENT.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Chapter 7, Title 44 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 44-7-2910. As used in this article:
(1) 'Conviction' means a finding or verdict of guilty or a plea of guilty regardless of whether an appeal of the conviction has been sought.
(2) 'Crime' means a violent crime as defined by Section 16-1-60 or a criminal offense similar in nature to these crimes which have been committed in other jurisdictions or under federal law; unlawful and malicious tampering with human drug product or food (Section 16-2-75); or criminal sexual conduct in the third degree (Section 16-3-654); criminal domestic violence (Section 16-25-20); assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature; unlawful neglect of child or helpless person by legal custodian (Section 20-7-50); abuse or exploitation of a vulnerable adult (Section 43-35-5, et seq.); administering or attempting to administer poison (Section 16-3-70); or a criminal offense similar in nature to these crimes which have been committed in other jurisdictions or under federal law.
(3) `Criminal record' means:
(a) conviction of a crime;
(b) arrest, charge, and sentencing for a crime if:
(i) a plea of nolo contendere was entered to the charge;
(ii) pretrial intervention without adjudication of guilt pursuant to the charge was granted; or
(iii) adjudication or sentence was otherwise withheld or not entered on the charge; or
(c) arrest and charges for a crime if the charge is pending.
(4) 'Division' means the State Law Enforcement Division.
(5) 'Employment applicant' or 'applicant' means a person seeking employment with a nursing home or home health agency.
(6) 'Nursing home' means a facility whether proprietary or nonprofit including, but not limited to, nursing homes owned or administered by the State or a political subdivision of the State.
(7) 'Home health agency' means a public, nonprofit, or proprietary organization, whether owned or operated by one or more persons or legal entities, which furnishes or offers to furnish home health services.
Section 44-7-2920. (A) Before hiring an employment applicant, a nursing home or home health agency shall request the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to perform a criminal history check on the employment applicant to determine whether the applicant has a criminal record. The nursing home or home health agency must notify the applicant that:
(1) for this type of employment, state law requires a criminal history check as a condition of employment;
(2) the applicant has a right to obtain a copy of the criminal history report and challenge the accuracy and completeness of the report;
(3) the applicant will not be hired if the criminal history check indicates that the applicant has a criminal record as that term is defined in this article unless the applicant's record is cleared based on a fingerprint-based records check.
The criminal history background check must be in the form prescribed by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and must be submitted to the division in person, by mail, or by facsimile. The fee must be no greater than the actual cost of processing the request. The division shall perform the criminal history check within three days of receiving the request.
Section 44-7-2930. An employment applicant whose criminal history record indicates a criminal record may request that the nursing home or home health agency commence a fingerprint-based criminal background check by submitting necessary fees and information in a form and manner prescribed by the division within thirty days after the criminal history report is received by the nursing home or home health agency. The fee for a fingerprint-based record check may not exceed the actual cost of the record check.
Section 44-7-2940. (A) The law enforcement officer or agency providing the criminal history record pursuant to this article, is not responsible for the accuracy of information and is immune from civil and criminal liability which may otherwise result from providing this information.
(B) A nursing home or home health agency or an administrator of a nursing home or a home health agency or the employees of either are immune from liability for wrongful discharge, unemployment security benefits, or any other claim based upon:
(1) refusal to employ a person with a criminal record;
(2) termination of employment of a person with a criminal record already employed by the nursing home or home health agency; or
(3) other action taken in good faith reliance upon the criminal history report received pursuant to this article.
Section 44-7-2950. A state agency or an employee of a state agency required to report the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult as provided in Section 43-35-25 shall comply with that section and the provision of Chapter 35, Title 43."
SECTION 2. No later than July 1, 1997, nursing homes and home health agencies must initiate in accordance with Article 23, Chapter 7, Title 44, as added by Section 1 of this act, a criminal history check on all current employees whose duties involve direct care for clients, patients, or residents.
SECTION 3. This act takes effect July 1, 1997, and applies to persons applying for employment with a nursing home or home health agency after June 30, 1997, except as provided in Section 2 of this act.