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105 ILCS 5/22-94

    (105 ILCS 5/22-94)
    (This Section may contain text from a Public Act with a delayed effective date)
    Sec. 22-94. Employment history review.
    (a) This Section applies to all permanent and temporary positions for employment with a school or a contractor of a school involving direct contact with children or students.
    (b) In this Section:
    "Contractor" means firms holding contracts with any school including, but not limited to, food service workers, school bus drivers and other transportation employees, who have direct contact with children or students.
    "Direct contact with children or students" means the possibility of care, supervision, guidance, or control of children or students or routine interaction with children or students.
    "School" means a public or nonpublic elementary or secondary school.
    "Sexual misconduct" has the meaning ascribed to it in subsection (c) of Section 22-85.5 of this Code.
    (c) Prior to hiring an applicant to work directly with children or students, a school or contractor must ensure that the following criteria are met:
        (1) the school or contractor has no knowledge or
    
information pertaining to the applicant that would disqualify the applicant from employment;
        (2) the applicant swears or affirms that the
    
applicant is not disqualified from employment;
        (3) using the template developed by the State Board
    
of Education, the applicant provides all of the following:
            (A) a list, including the name, address,
        
telephone number, and other relevant contact information of the following:
                (i) the applicant's current employer;
                (ii) all former employers of the applicant
            
that were schools or school contractors, as well as all former employers at which the applicant had direct contact with children or students;
            (B) A written authorization that consents to
        
and authorizes disclosure by the applicant's current and former employers under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph (3) of the information requested under paragraph (4) of this subsection (c) and the release of related records and that releases those employers from any liability that may arise from such disclosure or release of records pursuant to subsection (e).
            (C) A written statement of whether the
        
applicant:
                (i) has been the subject of a sexual
            
misconduct allegation, unless a subsequent investigation resulted in a finding that the allegation was false, unfounded, or unsubstantiated;
                (ii) has ever been discharged from, been
            
asked to resign from, resigned from, or otherwise been separated from any employment, has ever been disciplined by an employer, or has ever had an employment contract not renewed due to an adjudication or finding of sexual misconduct or while an allegation of sexual misconduct was pending or under investigation, unless the investigation resulted in a finding that the allegation was false, unfounded, or unsubstantiated; or
                (iii) has ever had a license or
            
certificate suspended, surrendered, or revoked or had an application for licensure, approval, or endorsement denied due to an adjudication or finding of sexual misconduct or while an allegation of sexual misconduct was pending or under investigation, unless the investigation resulted in a finding that the allegation was false, unfounded, or unsubstantiated.
        (4) The school or contractor shall initiate a
    
review of the employment history of the applicant by contacting those employers listed by the applicant under subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3) of this subsection (c) and, using the template developed by the State Board of Education, request all of the following information:
            (A) the dates of employment of the applicant;
            (B) a statement as to whether the applicant:
                (i) has been the subject of a sexual
            
misconduct allegation, unless a subsequent investigation resulted in a finding that the allegation was false, unfounded, or unsubstantiated;
                (ii) was discharged from, was asked to
            
resign from, resigned from, or was otherwise separated from any employment, was disciplined by the employer, or had an employment contract not renewed due to an adjudication or finding of sexual misconduct or while an allegation of sexual misconduct was pending or under investigation, unless the investigation resulted in a finding that the allegation was false, unfounded, or unsubstantiated; or
                (iii) has ever had a license or
            
certificate suspended, surrendered, or revoked due to an adjudication or finding of sexual misconduct or while an allegation of sexual misconduct was pending or under investigation, unless the investigation resulted in a finding that the allegation was false, unfounded, or unsubstantiated.
            (C) The template shall include the following
        
option: if the employer does not have records or evidence regarding the questions in items (i) through (iii) of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (4) of subsection (c), the employer may state that there is no knowledge of information pertaining to the applicant that would disqualify the applicant from employment.
        (5) For applicants licensed by the State Board of
    
Education, the school district, charter school, or nonpublic school shall verify the applicant's reported previous employers with previous employers in the State Board of Education's educator licensure database to ensure accuracy.
    (d) An applicant who provides false information or willfully fails to disclose information required in subsection (c) shall be subject to discipline, up to and including termination or denial of employment.
    (e) No later than 20 days after receiving a request for information required under paragraph (4) of subsection (c), an employer who has or had an employment relationship with the applicant shall disclose the information requested. If the employer has an office of human resources or a central office, information shall be provided by that office. The employer who has or had an employment relationship with the applicant shall disclose the information on the template developed by the State Board of Education. For any affirmative response to items (i) through (iii) of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (4) or subsection (c), the employer who has or had an employment relationship with the applicant shall provide additional information about the matters disclosed and all related records.
    A school shall complete the template at time of separation from employment, or at the request of the employee, and maintain it as part of the employee's personnel file. If the school completes an investigation after an employee's separation from employment, the school shall update the information accordingly.
    Information received under this Section shall not be deemed a public record.
    A school or contractor who receives information under this subsection (e) may use the information for the purpose of evaluating an applicant's fitness to be hired or for continued employment and may report the information, as appropriate, to the State Board of Education, a State licensing agency, a law enforcement agency, a child protective services agency, another school or contractor, or a prospective employer.
    An employer, school, school administrator, or contractor who provides information or records about a current or former employee or applicant under this Section is immune from criminal and civil liability for the disclosure of the information or records, unless the information or records provided were knowingly false. This immunity shall be in addition to and not a limitation on any other immunity provided by law or any absolute or conditional privileges applicable to the disclosure by virtue of the circumstances or the applicant's consent to the disclosure and shall extent to any circumstances when the employer, school, school administrator, or contractor in good faith shares findings of sexual misconduct with another employer.
    Unless the laws of another state prevent the release of the information or records requested or disclosure is restricted by the terms of a contract entered into prior to the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly, and notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, an employer, school, school administrator, contractor, or applicant shall report and disclose, in accordance with this Section, all relevant information, records, and documentation that may otherwise be confidential.
    (f) A school or contractor may not hire an applicant who does not provide the information required under subsection (c) for a position involving direct contact with children or students.
    (g) Beginning on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly, a school or contractor may not enter into a collective bargaining agreement, an employment contract, an agreement for resignation or termination, a severance agreement, or any other contract or agreement or take any action that:
        (1) has the effect of suppressing information
    
concerning a pending investigation or a completed investigation in which an allegation was substantiated related to a report of suspected sexual misconduct by a current or former employee;
        (2) affects the ability of the school or contractor
    
to report suspected sexual misconduct to the appropriate authorities; or
        (3) requires the school or contractor to expunge
    
information about allegations or findings of suspected sexual misconduct from any documents maintained by the school or contractor, unless, after an investigation, an allegation is found to be false, unfounded, or unsubstantiated.
    (h) Any provision of an employment contract or agreement for resignation or termination or a severance agreement that is executed, amended, or entered into on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly and that is contrary to this Section is void and unenforceable.
    (i) For substitute employees, all of the following apply:
        (1) The employment history review required by this
    
Section is required only prior to the initial hiring of a substitute employee or placement on a school's approved substitute list and shall remain valid as long as the substitute employee continues to be employed by the same school or remains on the school's approved substitute list.
        (2) A substitute employee seeking to be added to
    
another school's substitute list shall undergo an additional employment history review under this Section. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection (i) or in subsection (k), the appearance of a substitute employee on one school's substitute list does not relieve another school from compliance with this Section.
        (3) An employment history review conducted upon
    
initial hiring of a substitute employee by contractor or any other entity that furnishes substitute staffing services to schools shall satisfy the requirements of this Section for all schools using the services of that contractor or other entity.
        (4) A contractor or any other entity furnishing
    
substitute staffing services to schools shall comply with paragraphs (3) and (4) of subsection (j).
    (j) For employees of contractors, all of the following apply:
        (1) The employment history review required by this
    
Section shall be performed, either at the time of the initial hiring of an employee or prior to the assignment of an existing employee to perform work for a school in a position involving direct contact with children or students. The review shall remain valid as long as the employee remains employed by the same contractor, even if assigned to perform work for other schools.
        (2) A contractor shall maintain records documenting
    
employment history reviews for all employees as required by this Section and, upon request, shall provide a school for whom an employee is assigned to perform work access to the records pertaining to that employee.
        (3) Prior to assigning an employee to perform work
    
for a school in a position involving direct contact with children or students, the contractor shall inform the school of any instance known to the contractor in which the employee:
            (A) has been the subject of a sexual misconduct
        
allegation unless a subsequent investigation resulted in a finding that the allegation was false, unfounded, or unsubstantiated;
            (B) has ever been discharged, been asked to
        
resign from, resigned from, or otherwise been separated from any employment, been removed from a substitute list, been disciplined by an employer, or had an employment contract not renewed due to an adjudication or finding of sexual misconduct or while an allegation of sexual misconduct was pending or under investigation, unless the investigation resulted in a finding that the allegation was false, unfounded, or unsubstantiated; or
            (C) has ever had a license or certificate
        
suspended, surrendered, or revoked due to an adjudication or finding of sexual misconduct or while an allegation of sexual misconduct was pending or under investigation, unless the investigation resulted in a finding that the allegation was false, unfounded, or unsubstantiated.
        (4) The contractor may not assign an employee to
    
perform work for a school in a position involving direct contact with children or students if the school objects to the assignment after being informed of an instance listed in paragraph (3).
    (k) An applicant who has undergone an employment history review under this Section and seeks to transfer to or provide services to another school in the same school district, diocese, or religious jurisdiction, or to another school established and supervised by the same organization is not required to obtain additional reports under this Section before transferring.
    (l) Nothing in this Section shall be construed:
        (1) to prevent a prospective employer from
    
conducting further investigations of prospective employees or from requiring applicants to provide additional background information or authorizations beyond what is required under this Section, nor to prevent a current or former employer from disclosing more information than what is required under this Section;
        (2) to relieve a school, school employee,
    
contractor of the school, or agent of the school from any legal responsibility to report sexual misconduct in accordance with State and federal reporting requirements;
        (3) to relieve a school, school employee,
    
contractor of the school, or agent of the school from any legal responsibility to implement the provisions of Section 7926 of Chapter 20 of the United States Code; or
        (4) to prohibit the right of the exclusive
    
bargaining representative under a collective bargaining agreement to grieve and arbitrate the validity of an employee's termination or discipline for just cause.
    (m) The State Board of Education shall develop the templates required under paragraphs (3) and (4) of subsection (c).
(Source: P.A. 102-702, eff. 7-1-23.)