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Last Updated: 11/18/14 12:50:08 PM

Criminal History Background Checks

Under Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 449.122 through NRS 449.174, people who have been convicted of certain crimes may not work at certain long term care facilities or agencies. The discussion here concerns the requirements of NRS 449.122 through NRS 449.174 only, and is intended as a guide only. The complete statute is available at http://leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-449.html.

For Child Care backgrounds information and/or questions please visit http://health.nv.gov/HCQC_Childcare.htm or contact 702-486-0574
 

On this page Related Information

Background Check Questions & Answers

Questions? Contact: Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance – April Fisher at (775) 684-1031 or aknight@health.nv.gov

Under NRS 449, you must conduct a fingerprint-based criminal history background check on each employee and each independent contractor if you are the administrator of, or you are licensed to operate, any of the following:

  • Agency to provide personal care services in the home

  • Agency to provide nursing in the home

  • Facility for intermediate care

  • Facility for skilled nursing

  • Residential facility for groups

  • Homes for individual residential care

These background checks must be conducted through the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History, an agency of the Nevada Department of Public Safety, Records and Technology Division. Even if you use another agency to conduct a preliminary criminal history check, you must conduct a background check by submitting fingerprints to the Central Repository, as required by the statute and summarized here. If your business is not one of the five types of entities listed above then you may choose to voluntarily submit fingerprints under NRS 179A.210 to obtain criminal history information with each employee's consent, but you are not authorized to have the Department of Public Safety evaluate an individual's criminal history under NRS 449. NRS 449.123 applies to every employee or independent contractor, including the administrator and the person licensed to operate the agency or facility, regardless of whether the individual provides direct patient care. You must conduct the background check in addition to any other fingerprint-based criminal history background check that the individual may have already undergone, such as to obtain a professional license, including a nursing license or a long term care administrator license. (See Special Notices below.) The statute does not apply to a volunteer. The statute does not apply to an individual that is not hired by you or your licensed entity but rather is hired directly by a resident at your licensed entity.

Overview of the Process under NRS 449

If you learn from a background check or receive evidence from any other source that an employee or independent contractor has been convicted of a crime listed in  NRS 449.174, then you must terminate that individual's employment after allowing him time to correct the information, as described in NRS 449.125 and summarized below.

Under NRS 449.123, when you accept an individual for employment, you must complete the following steps within ten days of hiring that individual as an employee or an independent contractor:

  • Obtain a written statement from the individual stating whether the individual has been convicted of any crime listed in NRS 449.174,

  • Obtain oral and written confirmation of the information in that statement,

  • Obtain the individual's fingerprints and written authority from the individual then you may submit those fingerprints to the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History, and

  • Submit those fingerprints to the Central Repository of Nevada Records of Criminal History

You must ensure that the criminal history of each employee or independent contractor who works for you is investigated at least once every five years by submitting fingerprints to the Central Repository.

You may avoid the initial criminal history background check when you hire the individual if the individual can provide you with proof that an investigation of his criminal history was conducted by the Central Repository within the immediately preceding six months and the investigation did not indicate that the individual had been convicted of any crime listed under NRS 449.174. That proof would consist of a copy of the Applicant Fingerprint Response that the Department of Public Safety Criminal History Records Repository provided to the employee indicating that the individual's status was 449.174 NEGATIVE. If you forego the initial criminal history background check on this basis, then you must keep a copy of the Applicant Fingerprint Response on which you received in your files.

You may download a sample of the type of criminal history statement and authorization called for in NRS 449.123 here in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format. You may use this sample statement, or you may choose to incorporate into your own application for employment language that otherwise meets the requirements of NRS 449.123. You must keep a copy of each individual's signed criminal history statement in your files.

You must submit the fingerprints of each employee and independent contractor to the Central Repository which is in the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Records and Technology Division. You must establish an account with DPS to submit fingerprints for any purpose. DPS uses this information to determine what kind of background check to conduct and where to send the results. This account establishes your authority to receive criminal history information, and provides information that you will need for your fingerprint records. Each employee fingerprint record must have in the "Reason Fingerprinted" field "NRS 449.123" and in the "MNU Miscellaneous Number" field your DPS account number. You must pay for the background check, but you may recover up to half of the cost from the individual. See NRS 449.123(6) for details and limitations.

If you use printed fingerprint cards, then you must submit to DPS two cards for each employee: one for the state check and one for the FBI check. You must keep a copy of each card in your files. A photocopy of each card is sufficient. If you use a fingerprint agency that can submit fingerprint records electronically, then you need to keep in your files only one copy of the fingerprints submitted along with the receipt indicating that the prints were submitted electronically. We strongly encourage you to submit fingerprints electronically because:

  • There is a lower probability that the fingerprints will be rejected for poor quality.

  • You are likely to receive a faster response on the background check.

  • As of October 1, 2007, the cost of the FBI check is lower for fingerprints submitted electronically

Either way, DPS keeps one copy of the fingerprints to conduct the check of state criminal history records and forwards a copy to the FBI to check for criminal convictions in other states.

After DPS completes its background check, it sends to you an "Applicant Fingerprint Response" indicating the status of the individual. You must keep a copy of the Applicant Fingerprint Response from DPS in your files, along with the criminal history statement signed by the individual and a copy of the individual's fingerprints. Based on the status indicated in the Applicant Fingerprint Response, there is specific action you must take, as listed below:
 

Status

Action you must take

 

449.174 POSITIVE

You may not employ the individual, and you must terminate the individual's employment immediately*. The individual has a Nevada State or FBI criminal history record that lists at least one disqualifying conviction listed in NRS 449.174.
 

449.174 FBI POSITIVE

or

449.174 POS FBI

You may not employ the individual, and you must terminate the individual's employment immediately*. The individual has an FBI criminal history record that lists at least one disqualifying conviction listed in NRS 449.174.

449.174 STATE POSITIVE

You may not employ the individual, and you must terminate the individual's employment immediately*. The individual has a Nevada State criminal history record that lists at least one disqualifying conviction listed in NRS 449.174.
 

449.174 NEGATIVE

You may employ the individual. The individual has no convictions in Nevada State or FBI criminal history records which would disqualify the individual under NRS 449.174.
 

STATE NEGATIVE

The individual's Nevada State criminal history has no disqualifying convictions listed in NRS 449.174. The background check is not complete until you have an answer regarding the individual's FBI status, but you may continue to employ the individual until you receive that FBI response.
 

FBI NEGATIVE

The individual's FBI criminal history has no disqualifying convictions listed in NRS 449.174. The background check is not complete until you have an answer regarding the individual's state of Nevada status, but you may continue to employ the individual until you receive that state response.
 

449.174 UNDECIDED

The individual has been arrested for an offense which would disqualify the individual under NRS 449.174 if the individual is convicted when the case is adjudicated. You may employ the individual, if you choose to do so, but we strongly encourage you to determine the status of the pending case. DPS will not notify you of the disposition of the case when it is finally adjudicated; but you are required to terminate the individual if you learn from any source that the individual is convicted of a disqualifying offense.
 

STATE REJECT 1

The individual's fingerprints were not readable, and you must take and submit a new set of fingerprints for the background check if you still employ the individual. If you re-submit the fingerprints within 90 days, then you will not be charged by DPS for this second submission. You can improve the quality of fingerprints by using an agency with livescan fingerprint equipment, which uses laser scanning technology instead of ink to raise fingerprints. The list of livescan fingerprint sites on the HCQC website found at: http://health.nv.gov/HCQC_CriminalHistory_Fingerprints.htm includes agencies that are equipped with livescan equipment for fingerprinting.
 

STATE REJECT 2

If the individual's fingerprints are rejected a second time, and you have tried livescan equipment to raise suitable prints, then you may ask DPS to conduct a name check only by providing DPS with appropriate identifying information about the individual. Be sure to keep copies of the reject print notices in your files, along with the results of the name check.
 

FEDERAL REJECT 1

A new set of fingerprints (two fingerprint cards, FD 258), with the original fingerprint cards and all attachments must be returned in order to receive credit and avoid additional processing fees.

Fingerprint cards must be resubmitted in a reasonable time period not to exceed twelve months of the first fingerprint submission.

 Rejects cannot be resubmitted electronically. Rejects must be mailed to:

Criminal History Records Repository
333 West Nye Lane, Suite 100
Carson City, NV 89706

Failure to comply will necessitate an additional processing fee.
 

FEDERAL REJECT 2

When a fingerprint submission has images that are too poor to classify, you will receive a reject letter. You can receive a reject letter from the state, the FBI, or both. When this happens, you must reprint the applicant and mail the cards in MANUALLY with ALL of the reject paperwork stapled to the new fingerprint cards. It is imperative that the paperwork accompany the new fingerprints, otherwise they will appear to be brand new submissions. If they look brand new, not only will your agency be charged again, you will not get the original submission processed properly and may have to start all over again.

Once the 2nd set of fingerprints is received with the rejection paperwork, we will process the 2nd submission. You will receive either a valid response or another reject letter. After 2 reject letters are received for the same submission type, either state or FBI, you may request a name check. You would send the reject paperwork along with a letter on your agency letterhead requesting a name check for your applicant.

The most common mistake on this is to assume you can have a name check after receiving a state and an FBI rejection. This is NOT CORRECT! You must have 2 rejects from EITHER the state or the FBI in order to receive a name check—2 rejects from the state = State name check; 2 rejects from the FBI = FBI name check.

If you are not sure if your applicant needs a 2nd submission or a name check, please call our office first! We will be happy to look up the information, see where your applicant is in the process and let you know how to proceed. Trust me; it is a lot better for you and for us if you call us rather than guessing.

* If the individual believes that the information provided by the Central Repository is incorrect and immediately notifies you, then NRS 449.125 requires that you give the individual a reasonable amount of time of not less than 30 days to correct that information with the Central Repository before you terminate the individual on the basis of being disqualified under NRS 449.174. See instructions below for how an individual may challenge a disqualification with the Central Repository.

Disqualifying Criminal Convictions

If you learn from the Department of Public Safety or any other source that an individual has been convicted of a crime listed in NRS 449.174, then you may not employ that individual. NRS 449.174 lists disqualifying criminal convictions, which are summarized below. The statute does not distinguish between misdemeanor and felony convictions, so any conviction for any offense listed in NRS 449.174 prevents you from employing that individual.

        Unlimited convictions

You may not employ any individual who has ever been convicted of any of the following:

  • Murder, voluntary manslaughter or mayhem.
  • Assault with intent to kill or to commit sexual assault or mayhem.
  • Sexual assault, statutory sexual seduction, incest, lewdness, indecent exposure or any other sexually related crime.
  • Abuse or neglect of a child or contributory delinquency.
  • Abuse, neglect exploitation or isolation of any older persons or vulnerable persons, including, a violation of any provision of
  • NRS 200.50955 or 200.5099, inclusive, or a law of any other jurisdiction that prohibits the same or similar conduct.
  • A violation of any provision of
  • NRS 422.450 to 422.590, inclusive, relating to Nevada's State Plan for Medicaid.

        Seven-year convictions

You may not employ any individual who has been convicted within the past seven years of any of the following:

  • Any violation of any federal or state law regulating the possession, distribution or use of any controlled substance or any dangerous drug as defined in
  • Chapter 454 of NRS, within the immediately preceding 7 years.
  • Misdemeanor Prostitution, solicitation, lewdness or indecent exposure, or any other sexually related crime that is punished as a misdemeanor, within the immediately preceding 7 years.
  • A crime involving domestic violence that is punished as a felony.
  • A crime involving domestic violence hat is punished as a misdemeanor, within the immediately preceding 7 years.
  • A violation of any provision of law relating to the State Plan for Medicaid or a law of any other jurisdiction that prohibits the same or similar conduct.
  • A criminal offense under the laws governing Medicaid or Medicare.
  • Any offense involving fraud, theft, embezzlement, burglary, robbery, fraudulent conversion or misappropriation of property.
  • Any other felony involving the use or threatened use of force or violence against the victim or the use of a firearm or other deadly weapon.
  • An attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the offenses listed in this paragraph, within the immediately preceding 7 years.

Even if an individual has a professional license, you may not employ that individual with any of the disqualifying convictions listed in NRS 449.174. You may have your own policies that influence your hiring decisions, which may include other criteria not listed above, but you may not employ an individual with any of the disqualifying convictions in NRS 449.174. If you continue to employ an individual after learning of any disqualifying convictions, from DPS or any other source, then the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance (HCQC) may impose administrative sanctions against your facility's license to operate including denying you a license or suspending or revoking your license.

DPS notifies the Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance (HCQC) of the outcomes of all background checks conducted under NRS 449. When HCQC learns of a disqualification, namely any POSITIVE result on the "Applicant Fingerprint Response", we send a notice to the administrator of the entity that conducted the background check to verify compliance with NRS 449. If you receive such a notice, follow the instructions in that notice to indicate the current employment status of the disqualified individual and promptly return the notice to HCQC to ensure that your license to operate is not affected by continuing to employ an individual disqualified under NRS 449.174.

How to challenge a disqualification

Only the individual who is disqualified may challenge the disqualification, and that challenge must be filed with the Central Repository in the Records and Technology Division of the Department of Public Safety (DPS). The Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance (HCQC) enforces whatever decision that DPS makes. HCQC does not see the criminal history information and is not authorized to grant waivers. The appropriate form for filing a challenge to a criminal history background check disqualification is available on the website for the Department of Public Safety Records and Technology Division. Submit all correspondence and other paperwork relating to a challenge to the Department of Public Safety, not to the Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance.

The only basis to challenge a disqualification is that the information that DPS used was incorrect. An individual may not challenge a disqualification based on completing a sentence of incarceration or probation, making restitution, or other factors that may demonstrate good character. Remember that DPS compares the fingerprints that you submit with the fingerprints in the criminal history record to confirm that the criminal history belongs to the disqualified individual. If the criminal history record is incorrect, incomplete, or otherwise contains inaccurate information, then the individual may challenge the disqualification by providing the correct information to the Department of Public Safety.

A disqualified individual must notify you immediately of any intention to file a challenge; and if you are notified, then you may not terminate the individual on the basis of the disqualification for at least 30 days while that challenge is reviewed by DPS.

If you receive a letter from DPS Records and Technology Division that the "Nevada Criminal History Records Repository has received a Request Copy of Criminal Record for Challenge" from the named individual, then you will know that the individual has filed a challenge, and what instructions DPS has provided to the individual to support his challenge. This letter means that DPS has not received new information and has not reversed its decision to disqualify the individual. HCQC also receives copies of these letters from DPS, and we will wait at least 30 days before contacting you again to determine the individual's employment status. If DPS does not reverse its prior decision to disqualify the individual, then you will receive no further notice from DPS.

If you receive a "Notice of Reversal" from DPS Records and Technology Division, then you will know that DPS has received new information and that they have reversed their prior decision to disqualify the individual. If you receive a "Notice of Reversal," then you may continue to employ that person. You must keep a copy of that notice in your files, along with the copy of the individual's signed criminal history statement and fingerprints. HCQC also receives copies of these notices, so it is not necessary for you to advise HCQC of this action unless requested to do so by HCQC.

We strongly encourage you to investigate with the individual whether there is a basis to challenge the disqualification if the individual advises you that he will challenge the disqualification. Remember that DPS compared the fingerprints of the individual that you submitted with the fingerprints in the criminal history record that disqualified him before issuing you the notice of disqualification.

In any case, only DPS may reverse the disqualification, and when they receive appropriate documentation they usually can respond within a few days. Neither you nor we at HCQC are authorized to reverse a disqualification decision made by DPS, regardless of the information presented to us. Bear in mind that only DPS sees the criminal history details, so neither you nor we at HCQC know which or how many criminal convictions may have resulted in the disqualification.

Disqualified individuals may seek to have their criminal history conviction information sealed and their civil rights restored by applying with the court in the jurisdiction of the conviction. Until that court grants the sealing of the record, however, you may not employ the disqualified individual. Information about sealing criminal history records is available on the website for the

Department of Public Safety Records and Technology Division.

Special Notices

If you represent an Agency to Provide Personal Care Services in the Home, you must conduct fingerprint-based criminal history background checks on each of your employees and independent contractors, before we can issue you an initial license. When you apply for a license, HCQC will inspect your records to ensure, among other things, that you are in compliance with the background check requirements of NRS 449. If you are not in statutory compliance, HCQC will not issue your license.

If you are a landlord of dwelling units intended and operated exclusively for persons 55 years of age and older then under

NRS 118A.335, you may not employ any person who will work 36 hours or more per week and who will have access to all dwelling units to perform work on the premises unless the person has obtained a work card issued pursuant to NRS 118A.335 subsection 2 by the sheriff of the county in which the dwelling units are located and unless you have renewed that work card as necessary. Effective July 1, 2007, your sheriff is prohibited from issuing a work card if an employee has any conviction listed in NRS 118A.335(4), and that list is different from NRS 449.174. Please consult your local sheriff to determine what procedure you must follow to comply with this new statutory requirement.

 
 

Important Information
for all facilities required to conduct
background checks in accordance with NRS449
 
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