VI. Personnel Policies and Procedures

Agency records and accounting systems must include the following components for personnel approved in the project’s budget:

I.  Policies and Procedures: The subrecipient must have written personnel policies and procedures that address:

  • Work hours
  • Holidays, vacations, sick leave, and other leave time
  • Overtime pay and compensatory time: Overtime pay must be authorized in the approved budget, or prior written approval must be obtained from OCJP before any overtime is worked. One-time salary supplements or bonuses, including severance provisions, may not be paid with federal and/or state funds. Personnel working for more than one project must have sufficient records to show an accurate accounting of each project which have hours recorded to them. This can usually be accomplished by having personnel keep a detailed log of their activities for each project. Time sheets must accurately reflect hours spent working in separate programs.
  • Termination
  • Qualifications
  • Written job descriptions
  • Training Received
  • Supervision of Staff
  • Nepotism – All agencies must have a policy regarding conflict of interest that incorporates the following definition, from Tennessee Code Annotated § 8-31-101-107, of “relative” as it pertains to nepotism: “Relative” means a parent, foster parent, parent –in-law, child, spouse,  brother, foster brother, sister, foster sister, grandparent, grandchild, son-in-  law, brother-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, or other family member  who resides in the same household.
  • Background Checks - Agency must have a policy for background checks and adhere to the policy. At a minimum, this policy must include which agency positions require a background check and the type of check performed. Additional requirements for background check are outlined below:


Agency must have a policy for background checks and adhere to the policy. At a minimum, this policy must include which agency positions require a background check and the type of check performed. All background checks must be printed and maintained in the employee’s personnel file.

Individuals transporting clients must have the following information reviewed:

·         Driving Record Check

·         Proof of Liability Insurance   


A. Vulnerable Adults and Minor Background Checks - Agencies must conduct a background check and screening of all personnel including but not limited to employees, consultants, contractors, trainees, interns, teachers, and volunteers who are reasonably likely to interact with any participating minor or vulnerable adult. The personnel must consent for a background check by the agency/entity to be completed prior to interaction with participating minors, ensure that children and vulnerable adults are protected.  Criminal background checks must be completed/repeated once every five years.

TCA 39-15-501 Vulnerable Adult Definition: "Vulnerable adult" means a person eighteen (18) years of age or older who, because of intellectual disability or physical dysfunction, is unable to fully manage the person's own resources, carry out all or a portion of the activities of daily living, or fully protect against neglect, exploitation, or hazardous or abusive situations without assistance from others. The regulations require two separate categories of background checks to be conducted on each person: (1) criminal background checks; and (2) public sex offender.

1. Criminal Background Checks.

a.  All entities/agencies legally authorized to conduct fingerprint background checks (“FBI CJIS Checks”) shall conduct an FBI CJIS Check on all persons reasonably likely to interact with any participating minor or vulnerable adult . Agencies that typically have access to FBI CJIS Checks include law enforcement agencies, governmental entities working with children or vulnerable adults, or agencies/entities mandated by state or federal law.

b. All agencies/entities not authorized to conduct an FBI CJIS Check, shall document why they are not authorized and shall conduct a name-based criminal history check on all persons reasonably likely to interact with any participating minor or vulnerable adult .  A name-based check must be conducted for each state that the individual has lived, worked, or attended school during five years preceding the background check, and the state where the interaction with the minor or vulnerable adult will take place.  Name based criminal checks must encompass a minimum of five calendar years preceding the background check. All background check vendors must list each jurisdiction searched or otherwise provide documentation to establish which states were searched.

2. Public Sex Offender and Child Abuse Registries Checks.

a. All entities/agencies shall conduct a Dru Sjodin Federal Sex Offender Registry check ( on all persons reasonably likely to interact with any participating minor; and

b.  All entities/agencies shall conduct a search of the website or public registry for each state in which the individual has lived, worked, or attended school at any time during the five years preceding the registry check, and the state where the interaction with the minor will take place.

B. Determination of Suitability for Interaction with Participating Minors and Vulnerable Adults

1.      In addition to factors which must be considered by law or by the policies and procedures of OCJP and the agency/entity, when determining suitability all agencies/entities must consider the findings on the above background checks.

2.      Any of the following events or findings automatically precludes a determination of suitability:

 a.  Withholding consent to the background checks required in Section I above;

 b.  Knowingly making a false statement that affects or is intended to affect any search required in Section I above;

 c.  A listing as a registered sex offender on the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public website registry or any state sex offender or abuse and neglect registry;

d.  A conviction of a felony or misdemeanor under state, federal, or local law of any of the following crimes or a substantially equivalent criminal offense:

(1). Sexual or physical abuse, neglect, or endangerment of an individual under the age of 18 at the time of the offense;

                          (2).  Rape/sexual assault, including conspiracy to commit rape/sexual assault;

                          (3).  Sexual exploitation, such as through child pornography or sex trafficking;

                          (4).  Kidnapping;

                          (5).  Voyeurism; or

                          (6).  Is determined by a federal, state, or local government agency not to be suitable.



Agencies/entities must properly verify the employment eligibility of all individuals being hired for any position which will be funded in whole or in part with award funds, including employees and interns associated with the grant, consistent with the provision of 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(a)(1) and (2). Under associated U.S. Code provisions, it is unlawful to hire or recruit for employment certain classifications of non-U.S. Citizens.

For purposes of satisfying the requirement to verify employment eligibility, agencies/entities may choose to participate in and use E-Verify ( provided an appropriate person authorized to act on behalf of the agency/entity uses E-Verify to confirm employment eligibility for each hiring for a position that is or will be funded in whole or in part with award funds. Training for E-verify is the responsibility of the agency/entity.

Regardless of whether E-verify is used, the agency/entity must collect and review the following documents according to the following timeline:

1.  Employee Responsibility for Section 1 of the Form 1-9 (Employee Information and Attestation). The employee/intern must complete, sign, and date prior to or on the FIRST day worked, but not before accepting the job/internship offer. Electronic signatures are not accepted. Employee/Intern must also provide the original ID documents that are required by the Form I-9 Document before the end of the THIRD day worked. (List of acceptable documents appears on page 3 of Form I-9 attached).

2.  Employer Responsibilities for Section 2 of the Form I-9 (Page 2 of I-9). Before the end of the THIRD day worked the hiring agency MUST:

• Review the information provided by the employee/intern on Section 1.

• Ensure that the employee/intern provided information in all required fields on Section 1.

• Ensure that the employee/intern signed and dated the form on Section 1.

• Ensure that the preparer/translator section has been completed, signed, and dated if the employee/intern used a preparer/translator.

•  Review the original ID documents that are provided by the employee before the end of the THIRD day worked. (List of acceptable documents appears on page 3 of Form I-9 attached).

 • Make copies of the original IDs (front and back) used for the I-9, and retain the copies in the employee/intern’s personnel file.

3.    It is the responsibility of each agency/entity to provide training to its officials or other staff members who are involved in the hiring process with respond to a position that is or will be funded with award funds.

4.     All agencies/entities must maintain records of all employment eligibility verifications in accordance with Form I-9 record retention requirements, as well as documentation of all pertinent notifications and trainings. If an agency/entity utilizes E-verify, it must maintain the E-verify verification documentation along with other documentation.

Beginning  January 1, 2023, private employers with twenty-five (25) or more employees shall comply with the requirements in subdivision (a)(1)(B)(ii) of TCA Section 50-1-703(b); provided, that those employers are only required to use the E-Verify program to verify the work authorization status of employees hired on or after January 1, 2023.

If an employer does not have internet access or if an employer has less than fifty (50) employees, then the Office of Employment Verification Assistance shall, at no charge to the employer, enroll the employer in the E-Verify program or conduct work authorization status checks of the employer's employees by using the E-Verify program as long as the employer signs a prescribed form, under penalty of perjury, attesting to the employer's qualification for assistance pursuant to this subdivision (a)(6)(B) and completes paperwork required by the E-Verify program to permit the office to provide the assistance.

An employer is not in violation of this part: (1) During a time period in which the E-Verify program is suspended or not operational; or (2) If the employer acts upon false results generated by the E-Verify program concerning an employee's work authorization status.

II.  Personnel Costs: Time and Attendance Records – Accurate time and attendance records are required to be maintained for all personnel whose salary is charged to the project.  These records should contain, at a minimum, the following information:

  • Date (day, month and year)
  • Employee’s name
  • Position title
  • Total daily hours charged to the project
  • Grant allowable activities conducted during the hours charged (if employee is 100% grant funded, see Section V of this chapter)
  • Employee’s signature
  • Project director’s or supervisor’s signature
  • Grant number

The subrecipient may use any form that provides the above information.

III.  Personnel Qualifications:

The narrative section of the grant application includes job descriptions determined by the subrecipient agency which establish the qualifications for each position.  If an employee does not meet agency established personnel qualifications, a waiver must be requested from the Office of Criminal Justice Programs.  The Office of Criminal Justice Programs must approve prior to employment any grant employee not meeting these requirements.  A written waiver of personnel qualifications must be requested prior to the employee’s employment.  The written request for the waiver must explain the reason(s) for employing a staff person who does not meet the personnel qualifications.  A training plan must be included that ensures the employee maintains a constant level of understanding on how services are to be provided.  If approved, a copy of the request for waiver must be maintained in the employee’s personnel file.  The waiver will approve the period of the individual’s employment in the position and is applicable to that individual only.

To satisfy the requirement that staff are qualified for the positions in which they are employed it is necessary that the agency obtain verification of education prior to employment and/or training.  References for new employees and a resume are required.

IV.  Personnel File Requirements:  Agencies are required to maintain personnel files for all staff employed by grant monies or volunteers providing direct services to clients. These records should minimally contain the following information:

  •  Documentation of verified character/employment references
  •  An agency application or resume'
  • A signed release of information granting the organization permission to obtain a background check and to conduct reference checks
  • Job description
  • Documentation of training/certification received such as the topic, presenter, length of training, dates.
  • Documentation of minimum qualifications
  • Documentation of background checks according to agency policy.

V.  Personnel Paid 100% from a single federal award (effective April 16, 2018)

In order to comply with federal regulations to track and identify time worked on activities related to a single federal award, OCJP subrecipients with employees paid 100% from federal grant funds must comply with the following instructions:

Have each employee paid 100% from a single federal award for an extended period of time (6 months or more) complete the Certification of Time Charged to a Single Award form.

This form must be completed by the employee and their supervisor if the employee will be on a single award for six months or longer.  In this circumstance, the form must be completed prior to being on a single award for more than six months.

Retain the signed form in the employee’s personnel file.

See Title 2 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 225, Cost Principles for State, Local, and Indian Tribal Government, Appendix B, Selected Items of Cost.

NOTE:  For personnel funded less than 100% on the grant, subrecipients must have a system in place to provide accurate accounting of time spent on each OCJP funded project.  This system should reflect actual daily time worked by each direct staff on grant related activities.

VI.  Personnel Change Notifications

Subrecipients must provide written notification to OCJP within ten (10) days from the date of occurrence of any of the following:

A. Contact Information Changes

 1.  Any change of address for Authorized Official, Project Director, or Financial Director for the grant-funded project

 2.  Change in e-mail address of Project Director, Financial Director, Authorized Official or any personnel funded by this grant.

B. Personnel Changes

1.  Any cessation or interruption of implementation of project activities arising from litigation, loss of staff, or programmatic restructuring

2.  Change in or temporary absence of the Project Director or Financial Director

3.  Change in Authorized Official

4.  Change in grant funded personnel positions

5.  Temporary staff changes should also be reported

C. Staff Vacancies

Vacancies in all grant funded positions MUST be reported in writing (e- mail, fax, or mail) to OCJP within 10 days of the vacancy.  All grant funded vacant positions MUST be filled within 45 days of the vacancy.  Failure to abide by this requirement may result in the agency losing the position(s) in question.  If the position(s) is/are not filled within 45 days, the subrecipient must submit a letter to OCJP justifying the delay in filling the position and explaining how the program is providing services while the position is vacant.  After 45 days OCJP must receive a monthly report of this information until the position is filled. Once the vacant position(s) is filled the subrecipient agency MUST notify OCJP in writing within 10 days of the following information as it pertains to the new employee(s):

1.  Position Title

2.  Name of Employee

3.  Date Hired

4.  Salary

5.  Percent of time allotted to the grant funded project

6.   Job Description

Agencies must use the Personnel Spreadsheet to notify OCJP of staff on the grant(s), and any staffing changes made throughout the life of the project. You are required to submit this form to your OCJP program manager in accordance with the above staff notification requirements.

VII. Subcontracted Staff: For policies concerning Subcontracted Staff see Chapter XIII- Procurement of Professional Services.

NOTES: For RSAT specific personnel requirements see RSAT Chapter.

For specific volunteer requirements related to match see Chapter III-Financial Requirements.

This Page Last Updated: June 30, 2022 at 11:32 AM