Prior to hire

One of the most important elements in operating an ALF is hiring the right team of people to care for your residents. These people are a special breed and must be dedicated to having a servant’s heart along with showing compassion and care for all they do. In addition to those traits the MSDH has required the following stipulation to all potential staff members in an ALF:

Rule 47.11.5 Criminal History Record Checks.

  1. Pursuant to Section 43-11-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, the covered entity shall require to be performed a disciplinary check with the professional licensing agency if any, for each employee to determine if any disciplinary action has been taken against the employee by the agency, and a criminal history record check on:
  2. Every new employee of a covered entity who provides direct patient care or services and who is employed on or after July 01, 2003, and
  3. Every employee of a covered entity employed prior to July 01, 2003, has documented disciplinary action by his or her present employer.
  4. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, no employee hired on or after July 01, 2003, shall be permitted to provide direct patient care until the results of the criminal history record check have revealed no disqualifying record or the employee has been granted a waiver. Provided the covered entity has documented evidence of submission of fingerprints for the background check, any person may be employed and provide direct patient care on a temporary basis pending the results of the criminal history record check but any employment offer, contract, or arrangement with the person shall be voidable if he/she receives a disqualifying criminal record check and no waiver is granted.
  5. If such criminal history record check discloses a felony conviction; a guilty plea; and/or a plea of nolo contendere to a felony for one (1) or more of the following crimes which have not been reversed on appeal, or for which a pardon has not been granted, the applicant/employee shall not be eligible to be employed at the licensed facility:
  6. possession or sale of drugs
  7. murder
  8. manslaughter
  9. armed robbery
  10. rape
  11. sexual battery
  12. sex offense listed in Section 45-33-23 (g), Mississippi Code of 1972
  13. child abuse
  14. arson 15
  15. grand larceny
  16. burglary
  17. gratification of lust
  18. aggravated assault
  19. felonious abuse and/or battery of a vulnerable adult
  20. Documentation of verification of the employee’s disciplinary status, if any, with the employee’s professional licensing agency as applicable, and evidence of submission of the employee’s fingerprints to the licensing agency must be on file and maintained by the facility prior to the new employees first date of employment. The covered entity shall maintain on file evidence of verification of the employee’s disciplinary status from any applicable professional licensing agency and of submission and/or completion of the criminal record check, the signed affidavit, if applicable, and/or a copy of the referenced notarized letter addressing the individual’s suitability for such employment.
  21. Pursuant to Section §43-11-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, the licensing agency shall require every employee of a covered entity employed prior to July 01, 2003, to sign an affidavit stating that he or she does not have a criminal history as outlined in paragraph (3) above.
  22. From and after December 31, 2003, no employee of a covered entity hired before July 01, 2003, shall be permitted to provide direct patient care unless the employee has signed an affidavit as required by this section. The covered entity shall place the affidavit in the employee’s personnel file as proof of compliance with this section.
  23. If a person signs the affidavit required by this section, and it is later determined that the person actually had been convicted of or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to any of the offenses listed herein, and the conviction or pleas has not been reversed on appeal or a pardon has not been granted for the conviction or plea, the person is guilty of perjury as set out in Section §43-11-13, Mississippi Code of 1972. The covered entity shall immediately institute termination proceedings against the employee pursuant to the facility’s policies and procedures.
  24. The covered entity may, in its discretion, allow any employee unable to sign the affidavit required by paragraph (7) of this subsection or any employee applicant aggrieved by the employment decision under this subsection to appear before the covered entity’s hiring officer, or his or her designee, to show mitigating circumstances that may exist and allow the employee or employee applicant to be employed at the covered entity. The covered entity, upon report and recommendation of the hiring officer, may grant waivers for those mitigating circumstances, which shall include, but not be limited to: (1) age at which the crime was committed; (2) circumstances surrounding the crime; (3) length of time since the conviction and criminal history since the conviction; (4) work history; (5) current employment and character references; and (6) other evidence demonstrating the ability of the individual does not pose a threat to the health or safety of the patients in the licensed facility.
  25. The licensing agency may charge the covered entity submitting the fingerprints a fee not to exceed Fifty Dollars ($50.00).
  26. Should results of an employee applicant’s criminal history record check reveal no disqualifying event, then the covered entity shall, within two (2) weeks of the notification of no disqualifying event, provide the employee applicant with a notarized letter signed by the chief executive officer of the covered, or his or her authorized designee, confirming the employee applicant’s suitability for employment based on his or her criminal history record check. An employee applicant may use that letter for a period of two (2) years from the date of the letter to seek employment at any covered entity licensed by the Mississippi State Department of Health without the necessity of an additional criminal record check. Any covered entity presented with the letter may rely on the letter with respect to an employee applicant’s criminal background and is not required for a period of two (2) years from the date of the letter to conduct or have conducted a criminal history record check as required in this subsection.
  27. For individuals contracted through a third party who provide direct patient care as defined herein, the covered entity shall require proof of a criminal history record check.
  28. Pursuant to Section §43-11-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, the licensing agency, the covered entity, and their agents, officers, employees, attorneys, and representatives, shall be presumed to be acting in good faith for any employment decision or action taken under this section. The presumption of good faith may be overcome by a preponderance of the evidence in any civil action. No licensing agency, covered entity, nor their agents, officers, employees, attorneys, and representatives shall be held liable in any employment discrimination suit in which an allegation of discrimination is made regarding an employment decision authorized under this section.

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