Fingerprinting—Requirements for Construction Contractors

Education Code Section 45125.2 deals with fingerprinting construction contractors on school construction, rehabilitation, and repair projects. Where the employees of a contractor will have more than limited contact with pupils, a District is required to adopt one or more specified methods to ensure pupil safety. The statute would appear to permit a District to make other arrangements if it is determined the contractor’s employees will have only limited contact with pupils.
While Section 45125.2 does not say so directly, it would appear that if a District determines there will only be limited contact, it would still be required to take “appropriate steps” to protect the safety of pupils coming in contact with employees of the contractor, as is required when the District determines that contractors other than construction contractors will have only limited contact with pupils. (Education Code Section 45125.1)
Even when another district has obtained recent DOJ clearance for a contractor’s monitor/supervisor, the relevant Education Code provisions do not permit such a sharing of information. Several concerns with this concept come to mind, including the age of the information, the privacy of the employee and ability of the District to obtain subsequent arrest information.
The California Attorney General takes the position that such sharing is not possible. There is a Frequently Asked Questions publication from the Attorney General’s website addressing this issue, and information concerning its Live Scan program, which also indicates criminal offender information is only accessible to the employer or authority charged with determining suitability for employment of an applicant and shall not be reproduced for secondary dissemination to any other employing or licensing agency.
While this may create some administrative inconvenience for contractors, it is a necessary and legally required element of doing business with a school district, the cost of which is presumably factored into the bid price. There is generally sufficient lead time on most projects to accommodate the turn-around time.