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Substitute Senate Bill No. 946

Public Act No. 03-203

AN ACT CONCERNING CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2003) (a) The Commissioner of Mental Retardation shall require each applicant for employment in a Department of Mental Retardation program that provides direct services to persons with mental retardation to submit to a check of such applicant's state criminal background.

(b) The commissioner may require private sector service providers under contract with or licensed by the department to provide residential, day or support services to persons with mental retardation, to require each applicant for employment who will have direct and ongoing contact with persons and families receiving such services to submit to a check of such applicant's state criminal background. If the department requires such providers to have such applicants submit to such checks, the administrative costs associated with such checks shall be considered an allowable cost on the annual cost report.

(c) If such checks are conducted, no applicant shall be hired by the department or a private sector service provider until the results of such checks are available.

Sec. 2. (Effective from passage) The Commissioner of Mental Retardation shall prepare a report outlining the legislative, fiscal and logistical issues regarding a proposal to require each applicant for employment (1) in a Department of Mental Retardation program that provides direct services to persons with mental retardation, or (2) by a private sector service provider under contract with or licensed by the department to provide residential, day or support services to persons with mental retardation, to submit to a national criminal history records check. Such report shall describe the type of check to be done, the estimated cost of conducting such check, the legislative authority necessary for conducting such check, and any additional legislative, fiscal or logistical issues associated with conducting national criminal history records checks. Not later than January 1, 2004, the commissioner shall submit such report, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health.

Sec. 3. Section 31-51i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) For the purposes of this section, "employer" means any person engaged in business who has one or more employees, including the state or any political subdivision of the state.

(b) No employer or an employer's agent, representative or designee may require an employee or prospective employee to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a.

(c) An employment application form that contains any question concerning the criminal history of the applicant shall contain a notice, in clear and conspicuous language: (1) That the applicant is not required to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a, (2) that criminal records subject to erasure pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a are records pertaining to a finding of delinquency or that a child was a member of a family with service needs, an adjudication as a youthful offender, a criminal charge that has been dismissed or nolled, a criminal charge for which the person has been found not guilty or a conviction for which the person received an absolute pardon, and (3) that any person whose criminal records have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a shall be deemed to have never been arrested within the meaning of the general statutes with respect to the proceedings so erased and may so swear under oath.

(d) No employer or an employer's agent, representative or designee shall deny employment to a prospective employee solely on the basis that the prospective employee had a prior arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a.

(e) No employer or an employer's agent, representative or designee shall discharge, or cause to be discharged, or in any manner discriminate against, any employee solely on the basis that the employee had, prior to being employed by such employer, an arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a.

(f) The portion of an employment application form which contains information concerning the criminal history record of an applicant or employee shall only be available to the members of the personnel department of the company, firm or corporation or, if the company, firm or corporation does not have a personnel department, the person in charge of employment, and to any employee or member of the company, firm or corporation, or an agent of such employee or member, involved in the interviewing of the applicant.

(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (f) of this section, the portion of an employment application form which contains information concerning the criminal history record of an applicant or employee may be made available as necessary to persons other than those specified in said subsection (f) by:

(1) A broker-dealer or investment adviser registered under chapter 672a in connection with (A) the possible or actual filing of, or the collection or retention of information contained in, a form U-4 Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer, (B) the compliance responsibilities of such broker-dealer or investment adviser under state or federal law, or (C) the applicable rules of self-regulatory organizations promulgated in accordance with federal law;

(2) An insured depository institution in connection with (A) the management of risks related to safety and soundness, security or privacy of such institution, (B) any waiver that may possibly or actually be sought by such institution pursuant to section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, 12 USC 1829(a), (C) the possible or actual obtaining by such institution of any security or fidelity bond, or (D) the compliance responsibilities of such institution under state or federal law; and

(3) An insurance producer licensed under chapter 701a in connection with (A) the management of risks related to security or privacy of such insurance producer, or (B) the compliance responsibilities of such insurance producer under state or federal law.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2003) The Department of Public Safety shall perform state and national criminal history records checks at the request of any sworn police officer with respect to any coach involved in a police-sponsored athletic activity where such coach will be in direct contact with children under eighteen years of age. The Department of Public Safety shall charge the sponsoring organization fees for conducting such criminal history records checks as provided in subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of section 29-17a of the general statutes.

Approved July 9, 2003