(a) No person shall open, keep, maintain, own, operate or carry on a private personnel service unless the person has first procured a license therefor as provided in this Article.
(b) An application for license shall be made to the Commissioner. If the private personnel service is owned by an individual, the application shall be made by that individual; if the service is owned by a partnership, the application shall be made by all partners; if the service is owned by a corporation, the application shall be made by all stockholders who own at least twenty percent (20%) of the issued and outstanding voting stock of the corporation, or if the service is owned by an association, society, or corporation in which no one individual owns at least twenty percent (20%) of the issued and outstanding voting stock, the application shall be made by the president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer of the owner, by whatever title designated. The application shall state the name and address of the individual who is responsible for the direction and operation of the placement activities of the private personnel service whether that individual be one of the applicants or another person; whether or not that individual has ever been employed in a private personnel service; the name and address of each of the license applicant's prior employers during the five years immediately preceding the license application; and such other information relating to the good moral character of that individual as the Commissioner may require. No change in such persons shall take place without prior notification to the Commissioner.
(c) Each application for license shall be in writing and in the form prescribed by the Commissioner, and shall state truthfully the name under which the business is to be conducted; the street and number of the building or place where the business is to be conducted.
(d) Upon the receipt of an application for a license the Commissioner:
(1) Shall publish a notice of the pending application in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of the proposed location of the employment agency and may publish the notice in a newspaper of general circulation in each area in which the applicant (or if a corporation, the president and majority shareholder) has resided during the five years preceding the time of the application. The applicant shall incur the cost associated with the publication of this legal advertisement. The notice shall include a statement informing individuals of their right to protest the issuance of a license by filing within 10 days written comments with the Commissioner. The protest shall be in writing and signed by the person filing the protest or by his authorized agent or attorney, and shall state reasons why the license should not be granted. Upon the filing of a protest, the Commissioner, if he determines the protest to be of such a nature that a hearing should be conducted and that the protest is for a cause on which denial of a license may properly be based, shall appoint a time and place for a hearing on the application and shall give at least seven days' notice of that time and place to the license applicant and to the person filing the protest. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the rules of the Administrative Procedure Act.
(2) Shall investigate the character, criminal record and business integrity of each applicant for agency license and shall investigate the criminal records of all persons listed as agency owners, officers, directors or managers. The applicant and all agency owners, officers, directors and managers shall assist the department in obtaining necessary information by authorizing the release of all relevant information. The applicant shall incur the cost associated with this background investigation.
(2a) The Department of Justice may provide a criminal record check to the Commissioner for a person or agency who has applied for a license through the Commissioner. The Commissioner shall provide to the Department of Justice, along with the request, the fingerprints of all applicants, any additional information required by the Department of Justice, and a form signed by the applicants consenting to the check of the criminal record and to the use of the fingerprints and other identifying information required by the State or national repositories. The applicants' fingerprints shall be forwarded to the State Bureau of Investigation for a search of the State's criminal history record file, and the State Bureau of Investigation shall forward a set of the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history check. The Commissioner shall keep all information pursuant to this subdivision privileged, in accordance with applicable State law and federal guidelines, and the information shall be confidential and shall not be a public record under Chapter 132 of the General Statutes.
The Department of Justice may charge each applicant a fee for conducting the checks of criminal history records authorized by this subdivision.
(3) Upon completion of the investigation, or 60 days after the application was received, whichever is later, but in no case more than 75 days after the application was received, shall determine whether or not a license should be issued. The license shall be denied for any of the following reasons:
a. If the applicant for agency license, or the president or majority shareholder of a corporate applicant, omits or falsifies any material information asked for in the application and required by the Commissioner.
b. If any owner, officer, director or manager of the employment agency:
1. Has been convicted in any state of the criminal offense of embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses, forgery, conspiracy to defraud or any similar offense involving fraud or moral turpitude;
2. Was an owner, officer, director or manager of an employment agency or other business whose license was revoked or that was otherwise caused to cease operation by action of any State or federal agency or court because of violations of law or regulation relating to deceptive or unfair practices in the conduct of business;
3. As an owner or manager of an employment agency or other business or as an employment counselor was found by any State or federal agency or court to have violated any law or regulation relating to deceptive or unfair practices in the conduct of business; or
4. In any other demonstrable way engaged in deceptive or unfair practices in the conduct of business.
c. If the employment agency will be operated on the same premises as a loan agency (as defined in G.S. 105-88) or collection agency (as defined in G.S. 58-70-15).
(e) If it appears upon the hearing or from the inspection, examination or investigation made by the Commissioner that the owners, partners, corporation officers or the agency manager are not persons of good moral character or that the license applicant has not complied with the provisions of this Article, the application shall be denied and a license shall not be granted. The Commissioner shall find facts to substantiate his denial of the issuance of a license. Each application shall be granted or refused within 60 days from the date of its filing, or if a hearing is held, within 75 days. Any license heretofore or hereafter issued shall expire 12 months from the date of its issuance, and shall be renewed as hereinafter provided unless sooner revoked by the Commissioner.
(f) No license shall be granted to a person to operate as a private personnel service where the name of the business is similar or identical to that of any existing licensed business (except where a franchiser has licensed two or more persons to use the same name within the State) or directly or indirectly expresses or connotes any limitation, specification or discrimination contrary to current State or federal laws against discrimination in employment.
(g) Every license shall contain the name of the person licensed and shall designate the city in which the license is issued, the name of the manager and date of the license. The license shall be displayed in a conspicuous place in the area where job applicants are received by the agency.
(h) A license granted as provided in this Article shall not be valid for any person other than the person to whom it is issued or for any place other than that designated in the license and shall not be assigned or transferred without the consent of the Commissioner, whose consent must be based on the standards contained in this Article. Applications for consent to assign or transfer shall be made in the same manner as an application for a license, and all the provisions of this Article shall apply to applications for consent. The location of a private personnel service shall not be changed without notice to the Commissioner, and any change of location shall be endorsed upon the license. A person who has obtained a license in accordance with the provisions of this Article may apply for additional licenses to conduct additional private personnel services in accordance with the provisions of this Article. The manner of application, and the conditions and terms applicable to the issuance of the additional licenses shall be the same as for an original license. The same agency manager may be designated in all such licenses.
(i) Temporary license. - If ownership of a licensed private personnel service is transferred, the department shall issue a temporary license to any new owner or successor if it appears to the department that issuance of such a license would serve the public interest. A temporary license shall be effective for a period of 90 days and shall not be renewed.
(j) Each licensee shall, before the license is issued or renewed, deposit with the department a bond payable to the State of North Carolina and executed by a surety company duly authorized to transact business in the State of North Carolina in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and upon condition that the private personnel service will pay to applicants all refunds due under this Article and regulations adopted hereunder if the private personnel service terminates its business. (1929, c. 178, ss. 2, 3; 1931, c. 312, s. 3; 1979, c. 780, s. 1; 1987, c. 282, s. 12; 1989, c. 414, s. 2; 2002-147, s. 12; 2003-308, s. 9.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014