Georgia: Employees working with the Elderly Must Undergo Extensive Background Checks

APPLIES TO

All Employers with GA Employees Who Provide Care to Elderly or Disabled Adults

EFFECTIVE

October 1, 2019

QUESTIONS?

Contact HR On-Call

(888) 378-2456

Effective October 1, 2019, the Georgia Long-Term Care Background Check Program imposes significantly greater background screening requirements on employers who hire individuals with direct access to elderly adults.  Abuse of the elderly and adults with disabilities has increased in recent years, and the new law is intended to help protect the vulnerable adult population.

Currently, Georgia adult caretakers need only undergo a name-based background check limited to the state of Georgia.  Under the new law, owners, applicants for employment, and employees who provide care or own a personal care home, assisted living community, hospice care, nursing home, or similar entity, must undergo a national background check.  These regulations will expand further in January 2021, adding an additional fingerprinting requirement.

All employees or individuals with direct access to the patient, resident, or client are covered by the law.  “Direct access” is defined to mean duties that involve routine personal contact with the individual, such as face-to-face contact, hands-on physical assistance, verbal cues, or standby/monitoring activities.  There are few exceptions to the mandatory background screening, such as physicians, dentists, nurses, and pharmacists who are licensed by the state, or others who are contracted to provide services not directly related to elder care (e.g., accounting, construction, IT, etc.).

Additionally, employment applications must include the following statement: “FOR THIS TYPE OF EMPLOYMENT, STATE LAW REQUIRES A NATIONAL AND STATE BACKGROUND CHECK AS A CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT.”

Action Items

  1. Review SB 406 here.
  2. Implement national and state background checks as part of pre-hire procedures for applicable positions.
  3. Update employment applications with required language.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2018 ManagEase

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