FBI blocks state law expanding background checks for facility employees

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation stopped a new North Carolina state law that would have increased the type of nursing home personnel subject to criminal background checks from going into effect. But a new version of the bill could be forthcoming, a news report said Tuesday.

The law, which was set to take effect Jan. 1, calls for nursing homes to seek national criminal background checks on all employees and contract workers whose jobs put them in contact with residents at nursing homes, adult-care homes, home-care agencies and mental health providers.

Only direct-care workers previously were subject to the check. The new law says that others, such as janitors and office workers, must submit to the check if they come into contact with residents. 

The FBI objected to the law because it contains language calling for the state Department of Health and Human Services to share the results of the checks with private employers. Federal law opposes this type of disclosure. The department is expected to produce a new version of the bill shortly, and the legislature could push it through when it convenes later this month, a local news report said.