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  • NJ A2392
  • Requires criminal history background check for owners and employees of home service enterprises.
In Committee
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
The purpose of this bill is to protect the residents of this State from persons hired to perform services in the home who have criminal pasts. It requires persons owning or employed by a business that performs in-home services to pass a criminal history record background check. The background check would entail cross-referencing a person's name and fingerprints against those in the criminal records on file with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Identification Division and the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police. The bill defines a "home service enterprise" as any public or private business, corporation or partnership which provides for a fee a service requiring entry into the home. The definition of "home service enterprise" excludes individuals who are not regularly engaged in the business for which they are hired, such as an occasional babysitter or pet sitter. The definition also excludes independent contractors. Specifically, the bill would require the Director of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety to conduct criminal history record background checks of current and prospective owners and employees of home service enterprises. Persons subject to the criminal history record background check are to be certified by the director as qualified to serve in their positions in the enterprise if the background check indicates that the person has not been convicted in New Jersey or another jurisdiction of a crime: (1) involving danger to another person, such as criminal homicide, assault, reckless endangerment, terroristic threats, stalking, kidnapping, sexual offenses and robbery; (2) against the family, children or incompetents, including bigamy, endangering the welfare of children, incompetents, the elderly or the disabled, willful nonsupport, unlawful adoption or domestic violence; (3) involving theft; or (4) involving a controlled dangerous substance. Owners of home service enterprises would be required to apply to the director for certification on their own behalf and on behalf of current and prospective employees. Applications for certification are to be accompanied by a fee sufficient to cover the costs associated with performing the check. The home service enterprise is required to maintain on file copies of the certifications so they can be made available to interested members of the public upon request. The bill would authorize the director to receive criminal history information and exchange fingerprint data with law enforcement agencies. The director, however, is prohibited from initiating a criminal history record background check without the person's written consent to the check. The consent form would include, at a minimum, the person's name, signature, address and fingerprints. Once a background check has been completed, the director must notify the subject of the check of the results. If the director notifies the person that the background check has not revealed a disqualifying crime, the director also is required to issue a certificate to that person. If the director notifies the person that the background check indicates a disqualifying crime, the person has 30 days from the date of notification to appeal the finding on the grounds that it is inaccurate or the person has been successfully rehabilitated. In determining whether a person has been rehabilitated, the director is to consider: (1) the nature and seriousness of the offense committed; (2) the circumstances under which the offense occurred; (3) the date of the offense; (4) the age of the person when the offense was committed; (5) whether the offense was an isolated or repeated incident; (6) any social conditions which may have contributed to the offense; and (7) any evidence of rehabilitation, including good conduct in prison or the community, counseling or psychiatric treatment received, acquisition of additional academic or vocational schooling, successful participation in correctional work-release programs or the recommendation of those who have had the person under their supervision. The bill directs the division to act as a clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of information relating to criminal history record background checks required by the bill. The division is also responsible for educating the public concerning this act, maintaining and making available to the public a file of the certifications which have been granted under the act and publicizing those home service enterprises which are in compliance with the act. The director is authorized by the bill to require owners and employees of home service enterprises to register with the division and pay an annual registration fee to cover the costs associated with the administration of the act. A person who violates any provision of the act is to be fined $200 for the first offense and $500 for each subsequent offense. The penalties are to be dedicated to enforcing the act.
Not specified
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee  (on 2/4/2016)
Date Chamber Action Description
2/4/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified