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Saturday, December 20, 2008


New Jersey Background Check Bill Passed

Although background checks(click here) can benefit all places of business, they are particularly important in certain areas of employment. Workers who come in contact with vulnerable members of the public, such as children, the elderly and the differently-abled are often subjected to these investigations due to the nature of their jobs. In order to protect those who come in contact with such employees, many state governments put a lot of effort into making sure that background check laws and policies are constantly updated.

Hoping to continue to ensure the safety of local children, the New Jersey Senate recently passes a new bill which will change the rules about background checks on school employees. Bill S-10 was originally sponsored by Senators Barbara Buono, Shirley K. Turner and Loretta Weinberg and was passed about a unanimous vote.

The bill will cause the revision of background check requirements for many workers at local schools. Aside from educators and administrators, other employees who will be effected include bus drivers, cafeteria workers and janitors. One change this action will cause is that the list of offenses that an applicant working for a job would be disqualified for will be expanded. According to Buono, the point of the new bill was to patch up many loopholes that had yet to be covered.

New Crimes that have been added to the list include leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in the death of another individual, human trafficking and violating the Anti-Terrorism Act. Other things that can cause an applicant to be denied employment are being convicted for charges related to peering into another person window or house and employing a juvenile in the commission of a crime.

In addition to these crimes, the bill creates new regulations for school bus drivers. Now all information filled on both drivers and substitute drivers will have to be filed by the secretary of the board with the executive county superintendent of schools. This includes the workers’ names, Social Security numbers, certifications of driver’s licenses, criminal history background check and proof that the individual has been investigated for motor vehicle violations involving the use of drugs or alcohol. Any one found to be guilty of the latter will be disqualified from his or her job permanently. This does not exclude those who are already working for a public or private school in the state.

New Jersey has required applicants to undergo background checks of some sort since 1986 in order to protect the state’s youth from a variety of issues.


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