Have Legal Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Unless your Church also operates as a Community Care Facility under California law, then the Church is not required by lawto submit worker fingerpints for a background check. However, the Church can, as an added precaution, require that workers submit to fingerprints or any other kind of criminal background check it wishes to require.
Thanks for the response. But, I'm also wondering if we as an organization (church) are allowed to view the records since we have no Custodian of Records on staff, thereby, making it technically illegal for us to require them to submit the information to us.
Sorry. Yes, background checks.
Criminal background checks are public information and thus the disclosure of the same to any person, no matter who they are, is not illegal. The information that is submitted to undergo the background check, such as fingerprints, drivers license numbers, social security numbers, etc., are things that should be held confidential and not released to the public by the organization, but this does not mean that no one in the organization can look at this information, nor does it mean that there must be a custodian of records that controls this information. A custodian of records is simply a designation given to whomever an organization appoints to handle records. For churches, it is usually the church secretary.
Cool. Thanks. That was super helpful. One more quick question. Do you recommend that churches working with children get their staff and volunteers fingerprinted or is it just overcautious?
Thanks. Appreciate all the information.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).