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Minnesota DHS modernizes its background-check procedures

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in Employment Background Check,Human Resources

Using a $3 million federal grant, the Minnesota Department of Human Services will implement new practices for running background checks on employees who work with children and vulnerable adults. The new procedures will begin in January, implementing new fingerprinting and photographing legislation Gov. Mark Dayton signed in May.

Under the new procedures, new employees and, in some cases, those changing jobs would be required to have their fingerprints scanned at independent, privately run Livescan locations throughout the state. They will no longer have to go to police stations or other law enforcement sites to be fingerprinted. Neither the state nor law enforcement officials maintain the fingerprints.

Current employees will not have to submit to new background checks unless they move to new positions that require more stringent background checks or if they change their names.

Under the new law, employees who take a leave of absence of 120 days or more will have to provide updated background information. Currently, the standard is 90 days.

Fingerprinting and photo costs at Livescan locations are estimated to run $10 to $15. The law does not state whether the state, the applicant or employee will pay that fee.

The legislation is designed to streamline the background check process, allowing DHS and its service providers to transfer employees more easily. The system also monitors state court rulings and flags any convictions for any employee of DHS or its service providers.

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