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AB-163 Department of Forestry and Fire Protection: employment: criminal background checks. (2011-2012)

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CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 163


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Jeffries

January 19, 2011


An act to add Article 4 (commencing with Section 789) to Chapter 2.5 of Division 1 of the Public Resources Code, relating to forestry and fire protection.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 163, as introduced, Jeffries. Department of Forestry and Fire Protection: employment: criminal background checks.
Existing law requires the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to be responsible for the fire protection, fire prevention, maintenance, and enhancement of the state’s forest, range, and brushland resources, contract fire protection, associated emergency services, and assistance in civil disasters and other nonfire emergencies.
This bill would require the department to conduct a state and federal level criminal offender record information search through the Department of Justice prior to hiring an applicant, as defined, for a position with the department or the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, with exceptions. The bill would require the Department of Justice to provide the information electronically, and require the department to request the Department of Justice to provide subsequent arrest notification services.
This bill would require the department to make and enforce those regulations necessary and proper for the implementation and maintenance of the requirements of these provisions. The bill would require the department to implement the requirements of these provisions utilizing any existing funds that are available to the department and would prohibit the department from assessing a fee on an applicant for purposes of conducting a background check.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Article 4 (commencing with Section 789) is added to Chapter 2.5 of Division 1 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
Article  4.  Employment Applicant Criminal Background Check

789.
 For purposes of this article, “applicant” means a person applying for permanent, full-time employment with the department or the board.

790.
 Each applicant shall have his or her fingerprint images and related information submitted to the department for submission to the Department of Justice, pursuant to regulations adopted pursuant to Section 794, for a state and federal level criminal offender record information search, including subsequent arrest information.

791.
 Each application for employment shall require the applicant’s social security number in order to establish the identity of the applicant. The information obtained as a result of a state and federal level criminal offender record information search shall be used in accordance with Section 11105 of the Penal Code, and to determine whether the applicant is eligible for employment.

792.
 (a) (1) Prior to hiring an applicant for employment with the department or the board, the department shall electronically submit to the Department of Justice fingerprint images and related information which the Department of Justice requires to determine the existence and content of a record of state or federal convictions and state or federal arrests, and also information as to the existence and content of a record of state or federal arrests for which the Department of Justice establishes that the person is free on bail or on his or her own recognizance pending trial or appeal, as provided pursuant to subdivision (p) of Section 11105 of the Penal Code.
(2) When received, the Department of Justice shall forward to the Federal Bureau of Investigation requests for federal summary criminal history information received pursuant to this subdivision. The Department of Justice shall review the information returned from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and compile and electronically disseminate a response to the department, as provided pursuant to Section 11105 of the Penal Code.
(3) The Department of Justice shall electronically provide the response to the department.
(b) The department shall request the Department of Justice to provide subsequent arrest notification service, as provided pursuant to Section 11105.2 of the Penal Code, for persons described in subdivision (a).
(c) The Department of Justice shall charge a fee sufficient to cover the cost of processing the request described in this section.

793.
 A certified EMT-I or EMT-II shall be exempt from the requirements of this article if he or she meets all of the following conditions:
(a) He or she is currently certified pursuant to Division 2.5 (commencing with Section 1797) of the Health and Safety Code.
(b) His or her fingerprint images were previously submitted to the Department of Justice and a state and federal level criminal offender record information search, including subsequent arrest information, has been conducted.
(c) He or she submits to the department a written verification that the certifying entity, as defined in Section 1797.62 of the Health and Safety Code, the Emergency Medical Services Authority, as described in Section 1797.101 of the Health and Safety Code, or the employer has had a state and federal level criminal offender record information search conducted, including subsequent arrest information, and that nothing in the criminal offender record information search precluded the individual from obtaining EMT-I or EMT-II certification.

794.
 The department shall make and enforce those regulations that are necessary and proper for the implementation and maintenance of the requirements of this article.

795.
 The department shall implement the requirements of this article utilizing any existing funds that are available to the department. The department shall not assess a fee on an applicant for purposes of conducting a background check.