Two employees at the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) recently left their jobs when a criminal background check revealed they had criminal convictions on their record. One worker retired and information regarding the second employee is simply that he “left the department.”
The workers’ problems came about pursuant to a required background checks IRS law that went into effect in 2018 which requires all public employees who have access to personal federal tax information (FTI) to undergo criminal background checks. In response, the California Department directed all its employees to submit their fingerprints for required background checks.
A third worker was placed in limbo while the state worked to determine if he or she could be transferred to a new position. According to the spouse’s wife, who was interviewed by the Sacramento Bee, the man has two felony convictions from years ago that occurred before he first was employed by the tax department.
According to his wife, he has been employed by the state for nine years and was “blind-sided” by the outcome of the required background checks. Even their relatives are unaware of the convictions, so the newspaper declined to name the employee or his wife.
Unions representing state employees have been working with the state so that employees who have prior convictions but have turned their lives around are not fired. The solution has been to move those employees to new positions within the state. Indications are that no employee has lost their job because of the IRS background checks regulation, but dozens have been reassigned. What will happen with this particular employee is undetermined.
The IRS Required Background Checks Regulation
The 2018 IRS required background checks regulation is that any individual granted access to FTI must pass the following three background checks at a minimum:
- FBI fingerprint database
- Check with local law enforcement agencies
- Check to verify citizenship or residency status
If the employee or potential employee fails any one of these tests, it is up to the state whether to hire them for another position, but they may not work in a department that provides them access to personal taxpayer information.
The agency who hires the employees must provide verification to the IRS that each employee has passed all three required background checks and has no criminal history. Verifications must be updated periodically.
For more information about required background checks, please visit Screening Intelligence, LLC, which offers all types of background screening services.