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Policies and Procedures

4.30 Policy for Conducting Pre-Employment Checks

Purpose:

To establish guidelines for consistent and non-discriminatory pre-employment background checks as part of the hiring process for University employees. A pre-employment background check of a candidate for employment is done to comply with pertinent laws, promote a safe work environment, to protect the University's assets, including its employees, property, and information, as well as to assist departments in their hiring decisions. 

Policy:

For all non-temporary positions, any person being offered employment by the University shall have all relevant academic and/or professional credentials, work history, and references verified by a search committee or their designee. Human Resource Services (HRS) will be responsible for all degree verifications. In addition, for those positions designated to require a background check as described below in this policy, the check shall be completed post offer. All offers will be contingent upon the completion of satisfactory relevant background check(s). The selected candidate will be eligible to begin work once relevant background check(s) are satisfactorily completed.

All non-temporary positions require the completion of a pre-employment criminal background check for the selected external candidate. Division Heads shall have the authority to designate those university positions that shall require additional background checks such as credit history, motor vehicle operator license validation, or child abuse record. The University shall comply with all legally required background checks, such as those required by Department of Transportation regulations for truck driver positions and child abuse checks for child care providers. HRS shall maintain a list of all designated positions requiring more than the minimum verification of credentials, work history, and criminal background, along with the type of background check(s) required for each position. Background checks for temporary positions are at the discretion of the Division Heads based on the position duties. Search processes will include appropriate measures to notify applicants of background checking requirements.

Once an employment offer has been accepted by a candidate, upon notification of the acceptance, HRS shall initiate the background check with the selected background check vendor. The vendor will contact the candidate to obtain consent and all appropriate information to begin the background check. If the candidate does not consent to the background check, then the offer of employment will be withdrawn. The hiring department shall absorb all costs associated with purchasing the appropriate background checks.

The HRS Director shall review all information received in conjunction with a criminal, credit history, motor vehicle operator license validation, and/or child abuse record background check(s) and determine if it raises any legitimate employment concern. In that case, the Director shall consult with University Counsel and the relevant Division Head to make a final determination regarding the finalist's status. The Director shall communicate with the appropriate hiring official, providing no details other than the finalist is either "acceptable," in which case the hiring process moves forward, or "unacceptable," in which case the finalist is disqualified from further consideration. In the latter case, the Director shall also notify the finalist in writing. Information obtained from additional checks, beyond work history, is confidential and shall be kept separately in a secured file in HRS.

Procedures:

The Policy for Conducting Pre-Employment Background Checks and procedures are administered by the HRS Director or designee. The policy statement and the following procedures will serve as a guide to the administration of this process.

  • Recruitment materials such as advertisements and position announcements will contain information regarding the relevant background checks required.
  • Degree verification will be completed by HRS. Other relevant academic and professional credentials, work history and reference checks will be the responsibility of the search committee or their designee. These verifications are performed prior to an offer being extended.
  • Criminal background, credit history, child abuse, and motor vehicle operator license validation checks are to be performed post-offer as appropriate, with all offers being contingent upon satisfactory results.
  • A pre-employment criminal background check is required for the final external candidate offered employment for non temporary, full, and part time positions. Division Heads can designate positions that require the final candidate for employment to undergo additional background checks including credit history, child abuse, and motor vehicle operator license validation. A list of the positions requiring these additional background checks will be kept in HRS.
  • All verbal and written employment offers will include language indicating the offer being contingent on successful completion of relevant background checks.
  • Once the offer has been accepted verbally or in writing, HRS must be notified, and HRS will communicate with the candidate to initiate the background check process.
  • A vendor selected by HRS performs relevant background checks.
  • The Director or designee reviews the results of the background check(s) and follows up accordingly.
  • Division Heads will also determine if a temporary position requires a background check(s).

Please contact the Human Resource Services Department if you have questions regarding this policy or procedures.

Human Resource Services, approved January 2009.
President's Cabinet, approved June 9, 2009.