SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Management Services Administration)
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.
Purpose: DSHS is proposing these rules to comply with RCW 43.43.832 and make permanent the emergency rules originally filed on July 20, 2007. These rules describe the requirements related to background checks for DSHS employees and applicants.
RCW 43.43.832 requires DSHS to adopt employee background check rules and standards. Chapter 387, Laws of 2007 (ESSB 5774) repealed the department of personnel (DOP) statute which required DOP to adopt DSHS employee background check rules. DOP repealed DSHS employee rules effective July 22, 2007.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-06-0010.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 43.43.832, 43.20A.710.
Other Authority: Chapter 387, Laws of 2007 (ESSB 5774).
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 08-22-039 on October 30, 2008.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 9, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 9, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: January 7, 2009.
Stephanie E. Schiller
(2) This chapter also defines when the one hundred twenty-day provisional hire is allowed by DSHS. WAC 388-06-0500 through 388-06-0540 apply to all DSHS administrations
(3) WAC 388-06-0600 through 388-06-0640 of this chapter includes the background check requirements for DSHS employees and applicants seeking, working or serving in a covered position.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.15.030. 01-18-025, § 388-06-0010, filed 8/27/01, effective 10/1/01.]
(2) The requirement to conduct a background check must include the following:
(a) Any employee seeking a covered position because of a layoff, reallocation, transfer, promotion or demotion or otherwise requesting a move to a covered position.
(b) Any applicant prior to appointment to a covered position, except when the appointment is made on a conditional basis in accordance with agency procedures authorized by WAC 388-06-0635.
(3) Applicant means any person who has applied for work or serves in a covered position, including current employees requesting transfer, promotion, demotion, or otherwise requesting a move to a covered position.
(a) Sixty years of age or older who has the functional, mental, or physical inability to care for himself or herself;
(b) Found incapacitated under chapter 11.88 RCW;
(c) Developmental disabled as defined under RCW 71A.10.020;
(d) Admitted to any facility that is operated by DSHS;
(e) Receiving services from a DSHS contracted, authorized, certified, licensed or individual provider, including those certified under chapter 70.96A RCW;
(f) Receiving services through home health, hospice, or home care agencies required to be licensed under chapter 70.127 RCW; or
(g) Admitted to detoxification in a certified chemical dependency treatment facility in accordance with chapter 70.96A RCW.
(2) Juvenile means a person under the age of twenty-one under the juvenile rehabilitation administration's (JRA) jurisdiction, or under the department of corrections's jurisdiction while placed in a JRA facility.
(3) Child or children means any person under eighteen years of age.
(1) Works or serves in a setting, such as an institution, that provides residential services to vulnerable adults, juveniles and children;
(2) Works or serves in a position where, during the course of his or her employment, the employee may transport, or visit the residence of, a vulnerable adult, juvenile or child; or
(3) Works or serves in a position, other than one described in (1) and (2) above, where the employee may be left alone with a vulnerable adult, juvenile or child. "Left alone" does not include the possibility of a public encounter, or public interaction.
(2) The background information must be used by DSHS to determine the character, competence, and suitability of the applicant and/or employee to have unsupervised access to vulnerable adults, juveniles and children.
(2) Failure to authorize the DSHS secretary or designee to conduct a background check disqualifies an employee or applicant from consideration for any covered position including their current covered position.
(2) A permanent employee with a background check disqualification or who fails to authorize a background check may be subject to any of the following actions in no specific order:
(a) Denial of a transfer, promotion, demotion, or elevation;
(b) Job restructuring;
(c) Job reassignment or transfer to a noncovered position;
(d) Nondisciplinary separation;
(e) Disciplinary action;
(f) Voluntary demotion to a noncovered position;
(g) Voluntary resignation from employment.
(3) An appointing authority may use the following interim measures or any combination while deciding which action to take. Use of these interim measures will generally not exceed thirty calendar days except in the case of ongoing investigations or pending charges:
(a) Voluntary use of accrued vacation, exchange, and/or compensatory time;
(b) Authorized leave without pay, if there is no paid leave available, or if the employee chooses not to use paid leave; or
(c) Reassignment to another work location to prevent unsupervised access.
(d) When considering the above actions, the agency will consider the least restrictive means necessary to prevent unsupervised access.
(4) Before an appointing authority implements the nondisciplinary separation of a permanent employee, a search for a noncovered position that is vacant, funded and for which the employee meets the skills and abilities will occur for a period of thirty calendar days. The search will be conducted in accordance with the layoff requirements listed in applicable collective bargaining agreements and DSHS administrative policies.
(a) Notify employees and applicants that a background check is required for covered positions;
(b) Develop procedures specifying when employees and applicants may be hired on a conditional basis pending the results of a background check; and
(c) Develop policies and procedures pertaining to background checks.
(d) Use information contained in a background check for the purpose of determining the character, competence, and suitability of the applicant and/or employee to have unsupervised access to vulnerable adults, juveniles and children.
(2) The DSHS secretary or designee will not further disseminate background check information unless authorized or required by law to do so. In addition, results of a background check may be discoverable pursuant to the rules of civil discovery, or subject to disclosure pursuant to a public records request.
(1) The employee's background check authorization and disclosure form;
(2) The employee's age at the time of conviction, charge, or disciplinary board final decision;
(3) The nature and severity of the conviction, charge, or disciplinary board final decision;
(4) The length of time since the conviction, charge, or disciplinary board final decision;
(5) The nature and number of previous offenses;
(6) Vulnerability of the child, vulnerable adult, or individual with mental illness or developmental disabilities to which the employee will or may have unsupervised access; and
(7) The relationship between the potentially disqualifying event and the duties of the employee.