Download Zipped Introduced WP 9 HB0172.ZIP
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6 An act modifying the Public Safety Code by adding provisions regarding thorough
7 background investigations of applicants to be law enforcement officers or to be accepted
8 at an officer training academy. This act provides that employers of the applicant are to
9 provide employment history to the law enforcement agency or academy if the procedures
10 required in this act are followed. This act also protects employers from civil liability if
11 they provide background information to the law enforcement agency or academy. The
12 act requires that the information be confidential, and limits use by law enforcement
13 agencies and training academies. This act also provides for an implementation date for
14 these provisions.
15 This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
17 53-14-101, Utah Code Annotated 1953
18 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
19 Section 1. Section 53-14-101 is enacted to read:
20 53-14-101. Law enforcement and training academy applicants -- Employer
21 background information.
22 (1) As used in this section:
23 (a) "Director" means the director of a certified law enforcement officer training
25 (b) "Employer" includes a public employer and a private employer.
26 (c) "Law enforcement agency" has the same definition as in Section 53-1-102 .
27 (d) "Law enforcement officer" has the same definition as in Section 53-13-103 , and
28 includes those officers in administrative positions.
29 (e) "Training academy" means a peace officer training institution certified in
30 accordance with the standards developed under Section 53-6-105 .
31 (2) Upon the request of a law enforcement agency regarding an applicant for the
32 position of peace officer or the director of a law enforcement training academy for which the
33 applicant requests admission under Section 53-6-203 , a current or former employer of the
34 applicant shall provide to the law enforcement agency or the director information, if available,
35 regarding the applicant if the request complies with Subsection (3).
36 (3) The request for information pursuant to Subsection (2) shall be:
37 (a) in writing;
38 (b) accompanied by an authorization signed by the applicant and notarized by a notary
39 public, in which the applicant consents to the release of the requested information and releases
40 the employer from liability; and
41 (c) addressed to the employer and signed by a sworn officer or other authorized
42 representative of the law enforcement agency or the academy.
43 (4) The information that a law enforcement agency or the director of an academy may
44 request pursuant to Subsection (2) includes:
45 (a) the date on which the applicant began his employment and, if applicable, the date
46 on which the employment of the applicant was terminated;
47 (b) a list of the compensation that the employer provided to the applicant during the
48 course of the employment;
49 (c) a copy of the application for a position of employment that the applicant submitted
50 to the employer;
51 (d) a written evaluation of the performance of the applicant;
52 (e) a record of the attendance of the applicant;
53 (f) a record of disciplinary action taken against the applicant;
54 (g) a statement regarding whether the employer would rehire the applicant and, if the
55 employer would not rehire the applicant, the reasons why; and
56 (h) if applicable, a record setting forth the reason that the employment of the applicant
57 was terminated and whether the termination was voluntary or involuntary.
58 (5) (a) In the absence of fraud or malice, an employer is not subject to any civil liability
59 for any relevant cause of action by releasing employment information requested under this
61 (b) This section does not in any way or manner abrogate or lessen the existing common
62 law or statutory privileges and immunities of an employer.
63 (c) An employer may not provide information pursuant to Subsection (2) if the
64 disclosure of the information is prohibited pursuant to federal or state law.
65 (6) An employer's refusal to disclose information to a law enforcement agency in
66 accordance with this section constitutes grounds for a civil action by the requesting agency for
67 injunctive relief requiring disclosure on the part of an employer.
68 (7) (a) (i) A law enforcement agency may use the information received pursuant to this
69 section only to determine the suitability of an applicant for employment as a law enforcement
71 (ii) A director may use the information received pursuant to this section only to
72 determine the suitability of an applicant for acceptance at the training academy.
73 (b) Except as otherwise provided in Subsection (7)(c), a law enforcement agency and a
74 director shall maintain the confidentiality of information received pursuant to this section.
75 (c) (i) A law enforcement agency may share information regarding an applicant that it
76 receives pursuant to this section with another law enforcement agency if:
77 (A) the applicant is also an applicant for a position as a peace officer with the other law
78 enforcement agency; and
79 (B) the confidentiality of the information is otherwise maintained.
80 (ii) A director may share information regarding an applicant that is received pursuant to
81 this section with another training academy if:
82 (A) the applicant is an applicant for acceptance at the other training academy; and
83 (B) the confidentiality of the information is otherwise maintained.
84 (iii) A director may share information regarding an applicant that is received pursuant
85 to this section with a law enforcement agency if:
86 (A) the applicant is an applicant for a position as a peace officer with the law
87 enforcement agency; and
88 (B) the confidentiality of the information is otherwise maintained.
89 (8) This section applies to requests submitted to employers on and after July 1, 2003
90 for employment information under this section.
Legislative Review Note
as of 12-5-02 8:02 AM
A limited legal review of this legislation raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel
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