1.A facility, center, school, or school system under the supervision of the Department of Education and board of education which cares for, or is involved in the education of children under the age of 18 shall not employ for pay or contract for the paid services of any teaching staff member or substitute teacher, teacher aide, child study team member, school physician, school nurse, custodian, school maintenance worker, cafeteria worker, school law enforcement officer, school secretary or clerical worker or any other person serving in a position which involves regular contact with pupils unless the employer has first determined consistent with the requirements and standards of this act, that no criminal history record information exists on file in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Identification Division, or the State Bureau of Identification which would disqualify that individual from being employed or utilized in such capacity or position. An individual employed by a board of education or a school bus contractor holding a contract with a board of education, in the capacity of a school bus driver, shall be required to meet the criminal history record requirements pursuant to section 6 of P.L.1989, c.104 (C.18A:39-19.1). A facility, center, school, or school system under the supervision of the Department of Education and board of education which cares for, or is involved in the education of children under the age of 18 may require criminal history record checks for individuals who, on an unpaid voluntary basis, provide services that involve regular contact with pupils. In the case of school districts involved in a sending-receiving relationship, the decision to require criminal history record checks for volunteers shall be made jointly by the boards of education of the sending and receiving districts.
An individual, except as provided in subsection g. of this section, shall be permanently disqualified from employment or service under this act if the individuals criminal history record check reveals a record of conviction for any crime of the first or second degree; or
a.An offense as set forth in chapter 14 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, or as set forth in N.J.S.2C:24-4 and 2C:24-7, or as set forth in R.S.9:6-1 et seq., or as set forth in N.J.S.2C:29-2; or
b.An offense involving the manufacture, transportation, sale, possession, distribution or habitual use of a "controlled dangerous substance" as defined in the "Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 1987," N.J.S.2C:35-1 et al. or "drug paraphernalia" as defined pursuant to N.J.S.2C:36-1 et seq.; or
c. (1) A crime involving the use of force or the threat of force to or upon a person or property including, but not limited to, robbery, aggravated assault, stalking, kidnapping, arson, manslaughter and murder; or
(2)A crime as set forth in chapter 39 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, a third degree crime as set forth in chapter 20 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, or a crime as listed below:
Recklessly endangering another person N.J.S.2C:12-2
Terroristic threats N.J.S.2C:12-3
Criminal restraint N.J.S.2C:13-2
Luring, enticing child into motor
vehicle, structure or isolated area P.L.1993, c.291 (C.2C:13-6)
Causing or risking widespread injury
or damage N.J.S.2C:17-2
Criminal mischief N.J.S.2C:17-3
Threats and other improper influence N.J.S.2C:27-3
Perjury and false swearing N.J.S.2C:28-3
Resisting arrest N.J.S.2C:29-2
(3)Conspiracy to commit or an attempt to commit any of the crimes described in this act.
d.For the purposes of this section, a conviction exists if the individual has at any time been convicted under the laws of this State or under any similar statutes of the United States or any other state for a substantially equivalent crime or other offense.
e.Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, an individual shall not be disqualified from employment or service under this act on the basis of any conviction disclosed by a criminal record check performed pursuant to this act without an opportunity to challenge the accuracy of the disqualifying criminal history record.
f.When charges are pending for a crime or any other offense enumerated in this section, the employing board of education shall be notified that the candidate shall not be eligible for employment until the commissioner has made a determination regarding qualification or disqualification upon adjudication of the pending charges.
g.This section shall first apply to criminal history record checks conducted on or after the effective date of P.L.1998, c.31 (C.18A:6-7.1c et al.); except that in the case of an individual employed by a board of education or a contracted service provider who is required to undergo a check upon employment with another board of education or contracted service provider, the individual shall be disqualified only for the following offenses:
(1)any offense enumerated in this section prior to the effective date of P.L.1998, c.31 (C.18A:6-7.1c et al.); and
(2)any offense enumerated in this section which had not been enumerated in this section prior to the effective date of P.L.1998, c.31 (C.18A:6-7.1c et al.), if the person was convicted of that offense on or after the effective date of that act.
L.1986,c.116,s.1; amended 1989, c.104, s.4; 1989, c.156; 1998, c.31, s.5; 2002, c.119, s.3; 2007, c.82, s.1.
18A:6-7.1b Initial criminal history check for substitutes
2.An individual employed by a board of education in any substitute capacity or position, who is rehired annually by that board, shall only be required to undergo a criminal history record check as required pursuant to P.L.1986, c.116 (C.18A:6-7.1 et seq.) upon initial employment, provided the substitute continues in the employ of at least one of the districts at which the substitute was employed within one year of the approval of the criminal history record check.
L.1987,c.164,s.2; amended 1998, c.31, s.6.
18A:6-7.1c Employment of applicant on emergent basis, conditions.
12.A board of education or contracted service provider may employ an applicant on an emergent basis for a period not to exceed three months, pending completion of a criminal history records check and, with respect to a bus driver applicant, a check for the drivers record of alcohol and drug-related motor vehicle violations pursuant to section 6 of P.L.1989, c.104 (C.18A:39-19.1), if the board or service provider demonstrates to the Commissioner of Education that special circumstances exist which justify the emergent employment. The boards or service providers request to the commissioner shall include: (1) a description of the vacant position that needs to be filled; (2) a statement describing the boards or contract providers good faith efforts to fill the position on a timely basis or a statement describing the unanticipated need for the applicants employment; and (3) a sworn statement submitted by the applicant attesting that the applicant has not been convicted or does not have a charge pending for a crime or any other offense enumerated in section 1 of P.L.1986, c.116 (C.18A:6-7.1) or a record of alcohol and drug-related motor vehicle violations pursuant to section 6 of P.L.1989, c.104 (C.18A:39-19.1).
In the event that the background check is not completed within three months, the board or contracted service provider may petition the commissioner for an extension of time, not to exceed two months, in order to retain the employee.
L.1998,c.31,s.12; amended 2003, c.66, s,1.