2013 ORS § 181.534¹
Criminal records check
  • authorized agencies
  • rules

(1) As used in this section:

(a) Authorized agency means state government as defined in ORS 174.111 (State government defined) and the Oregon State Bar. Authorized agency does not include:

(A) The Oregon State Lottery Commission or the Oregon State Lottery; or

(B) A criminal justice agency, as defined in ORS 181.010 (Definitions for ORS 181.010 to 181.560 and 181.715 to 181.730), that is authorized by federal law to receive fingerprint-based criminal records checks from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(b) Subject individual means a person from whom an authorized agency may require fingerprints pursuant to statute for the purpose of enabling the authorized agency to request a state or nationwide criminal records check.

(2) An authorized agency may request that the Department of State Police conduct a criminal records check on a subject individual for non-criminal justice purposes. If a nationwide criminal records check of a subject individual is necessary, the authorized agency may request that the Department of State Police conduct the check, including fingerprint identification, through the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(3) The Department of State Police shall provide the results of a criminal records check conducted pursuant to subsection (2) of this section to the authorized agency requesting the check.

(4) The Federal Bureau of Investigation shall return or destroy the fingerprint cards used to conduct the criminal records check and may not keep any record of the fingerprints. If the federal bureau policy authorizing return or destruction of the fingerprint cards is changed, the Department of State Police shall cease to send the cards to the federal bureau but shall continue to process the information through other available resources.

(5) If the Federal Bureau of Investigation returns the fingerprint cards to the Department of State Police, the department shall destroy the fingerprint cards and shall retain no facsimiles or other material from which a fingerprint can be reproduced.

(6) If only a state criminal records check is conducted, the Department of State Police shall destroy the fingerprint cards after the criminal records check is completed and the results of the criminal records check provided to the authorized agency and shall retain no facsimiles or other material from which a fingerprint can be reproduced.

(7) An authorized agency may conduct criminal records checks on subject individuals through the Law Enforcement Data System maintained by the Department of State Police in accordance with rules adopted, and procedures established, by the Department of State Police.

(8) An authorized agency and the Department of State Police shall permit a subject individual for whom a fingerprint-based criminal records check was conducted to inspect the individuals own state and national criminal offender records and, if requested by the subject individual, provide the individual with a copy of the individuals own state and national criminal offender records.

(9) Each authorized agency, in consultation with the Department of State Police, shall adopt rules to implement this section and other statutes relating to criminal offender information obtained through fingerprint-based criminal records checks. The rules shall include but need not be limited to:

(a) Identifying applicable categories of subject individuals as specified by the Oregon Department of Administrative Services under ORS 181.547 (Oregon Department of Administrative Services to adopt rules relating to certain aspects of criminal records checks) who are subject to criminal records checks by the authorized agency.

(b) Identifying applicable information that may be required from a subject individual to permit a criminal records check as specified by the Oregon Department of Administrative Services under ORS 181.547 (Oregon Department of Administrative Services to adopt rules relating to certain aspects of criminal records checks).

(c) Specifying which programs or services are subject to this section.

(d) If the authorized agency uses criminal records checks for agency employment purposes:

(A) Determining when and under what conditions a subject individual may be hired on a preliminary basis pending a criminal records check; and

(B) Defining the conditions under which a subject individual may participate in training, orientation and work activities pending completion of a criminal records check.

(e) Establishing fees in an amount not to exceed the actual cost of acquiring and furnishing criminal offender information.

(10) The Department of State Police shall verify that an authorized agency has adopted the rules required by subsection (9) of this section.

(11)(a) Except as otherwise provided in ORS 181.612 (Authority of Department of Public Safety Standards and Training to require fingerprints), 342.143 (Issuance of licenses and registrations), 342.223 (Criminal records check), 443.735 (Issuance of license) and 475.304 (Marijuana grow site registration system) and paragraph (b) of this subsection, an authorized agency, using the rules adopted by the authorized agency under subsection (9) of this section and the rules adopted by the Oregon Department of Administrative Services under ORS 181.547 (Oregon Department of Administrative Services to adopt rules relating to certain aspects of criminal records checks), shall determine whether a subject individual is fit to hold a position, provide services, be employed or be granted a license, certification, registration or permit, based on the criminal records check obtained pursuant to this section, on any false statements made by the individual regarding the criminal history of the individual and on any refusal to submit or consent to a criminal records check including fingerprint identification. If a subject individual is determined to be unfit, then the individual may not hold the position, provide services, be employed or be granted a license, certification, registration or permit.

(b) An individual prohibited from receiving public funds for employment under ORS 443.004 (Criminal records check required for employees and volunteers providing direct care) (3) is not entitled to a determination of fitness as a subject individual under paragraph (a) of this subsection.

(c)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, an authorized agency making a fitness determination of an individual under this subsection may request results of a previously made fitness determination from an authorized agency that has already made a fitness determination for the individual. An authorized agency that receives a request under this paragraph shall provide the requested information.

(B) An authorized agency may make a request under this paragraph only for individuals:

(i) Who are applying to hold a position, provide services, be employed or be granted a license, certification, registration or permit;

(ii) Who are in a category of individuals as specified by the Oregon Department of Administrative Services under ORS 181.547 (Oregon Department of Administrative Services to adopt rules relating to certain aspects of criminal records checks); and

(iii) For whom a fitness determination has already been made.

(12) Except as otherwise provided in ORS 181.612 (Authority of Department of Public Safety Standards and Training to require fingerprints), in making the fitness determination under subsection (11) of this section, the authorized agency shall consider:

(a) The nature of the crime;

(b) The facts that support the conviction or pending indictment or that indicate the making of the false statement;

(c) The relevancy, if any, of the crime or the false statement to the specific requirements of the subject individuals present or proposed position, services, employment, license, certification or registration; and

(d) Intervening circumstances relevant to the responsibilities and circumstances of the position, services, employment, license, certification, registration or permit. Intervening circumstances include but are not limited to:

(A) The passage of time since the commission of the crime;

(B) The age of the subject individual at the time of the crime;

(C) The likelihood of a repetition of offenses or of the commission of another crime;

(D) The subsequent commission of another relevant crime;

(E) Whether the conviction was set aside and the legal effect of setting aside the conviction; and

(F) A recommendation of an employer.

(13) An authorized agency and an employee of an authorized agency acting within the course and scope of employment are immune from any civil liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed for determining, pursuant to subsection (11) of this section, that a subject individual is fit or not fit to hold a position, provide services, be employed or be granted a license, certification, registration or permit. An authorized agency and an employee of an authorized agency acting within the course and scope of employment who in good faith comply with this section are not liable for employment-related decisions based on determinations made under subsection (11) of this section. An authorized agency or an employee of an authorized agency acting within the course and scope of employment is not liable for defamation or invasion of privacy in connection with the lawful dissemination of information lawfully obtained under this section.

(14)(a) Each authorized agency shall establish by rule a contested case process by which a subject individual may appeal the determination that the individual is fit or not fit to hold a position, provide services, be employed or be granted a license, certification, registration or permit on the basis of information obtained as the result of a criminal records check conducted pursuant to this section. Challenges to the accuracy or completeness of information provided by the Department of State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and agencies reporting information to the Department of State Police or Federal Bureau of Investigation must be made through the Department of State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation or reporting agency and not through the contested case process required by this paragraph.

(b) A subject individual who is employed by an authorized agency and who is determined not to be fit for a position on the basis of information obtained as the result of a criminal records check conducted pursuant to this section may appeal the determination through the contested case process adopted under this subsection or applicable personnel rules, policies and collective bargaining provisions. An individuals decision to appeal a determination through personnel rules, policies and collective bargaining provisions is an election of remedies as to the rights of the individual with respect to the fitness determination and is a waiver of the contested case process.

(c) An individual prohibited from receiving public funds for employment under ORS 443.004 (Criminal records check required for employees and volunteers providing direct care) (3) is not entitled to appeal a determination under paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection.

(15) Criminal offender information is confidential. Authorized agencies and the Department of State Police shall adopt rules to restrict dissemination of information received under this section to persons with a demonstrated and legitimate need to know the information.

(16) If a subject individual refuses to consent to the criminal records check or refuses to be fingerprinted, the authorized agency shall deny the employment of the individual, or revoke or deny any applicable position, authority to provide services, license, certification, registration or permit.

(17) If an authorized agency requires a criminal records check of employees, prospective employees, contractors, vendors or volunteers or applicants for a license, certification, registration or permit, the application forms of the authorized agency must contain a notice that the person is subject to fingerprinting and a criminal records check. [2005 c.730 §2; 2012 c.70 §18; 2013 c.285 §3]

Note: 181.534 (Criminal records check) was enacted into law by the Legislative Assembly but was not added to or made a part of ORS chapter 181 or any series therein by legislative action. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.