Fingerprinting and Background Checks

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Under T.C.A. § 5-1-126, a county may require persons, prior to employment with the county, to agree to the release of investigative records  to the county for the purpose of verifying the accuracy of criminal violation information contained on an employment application, and supply a fingerprint sample and submit to a criminal history records check to be conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). In addition, to the extent permitted by federal law, and at the discretion of the county, a check of such prints may be made against records maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The county is responsible for payment of any costs incurred by the TBI or the FBI in conducting these investigations, but the county may require an applicant to pay these costs if the applicant is offered and accepts a position with the county. The county may establish the job titles or classifications to which these requirements apply, but the classifications do not supersede any mandatory fingerprint-based criminal history background requirements that may be applicable for any person who is seeking employment in a position in any program subject to licensure, approval or certification by any state agency (for example, teachers and others working with children).