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Important Residential Care Facility Legislation Goes to Governor’s Desk: AB-1437 Care Facilities: Criminal Record Clearances

The legislation AB-1437 Care facilities: criminal record clearances was passed on August 29 by the state Senate nearly unanimously, and was presented to the Governor on September 11. If the Governor signs the bill into law, it will be beneficial for residential care facility owners, caregivers and residents.

Currently, when new prospective employees are screened before they begin working, they must undergo a criminal clearance using fingerprinting technology to be in compliance with the Department of Justice and the FBI. This process is undergone for the employee to work in just one residential care facility for the elderly.

However, residential care facility owners typically operate several facilities, not only one. They need to be able to have new employees screened and pass their criminal clearances for multiple care facilities at once, so the hiring and onboarding process is much more efficient. At the moment, having an employee work in multiple care facilities requires the faxing of each employee’s 5 pages of criminal clearance documentation to each facility she/he will work at, but some of these documents can easily be lost, and the documents can be cumbersome to store. The new bill would help streamline this process and make it more manageable for the care facility owners and also for the Department of Social Services.

If the bill is signed by the Governor, it would result in greater flexibility in residential care staffing, which would mean better service for the health and safety of the residents. This bill will also significantly help with staff management when caregivers call in sick, tend to a family emergency or go on vacation.

The Governor has until September 30 to sign it.

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