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Pre-Employment Background Check

Procedure No. 10.090

PRE-EMPLOYMENT VERIFICATION POLICY

Date Issued: 12/01/07
Date Effective: 01/01/08
Issued By: Human Resources
PURPOSE

A primary responsibility of Clarion University is to provide a safe and productive environment in which students, employees and visitors can learn and work. To this end, the University will attempt to obtain certain background information about recommended candidates for employment. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that appropriate information about a candidate's education, employment history, and history of criminal convictions is considered prior to confirming an offer of employment. It is a further goal of this policy to ensure that the best qualified applicants are selected for University appointments and to avoid appointing individuals who may pose a threat to students, co-workers, visitors or University property.

SCOPE

This policy applies to all candidates for instructional and non-instructional vacancies at the University.

OBJECTIVE

To establish a process for verifying information provided by applicants for employment including employment history, educational attainment, criminal history and related information such as confirmation of a professional license or records of garnishment where bonding is a prerequisite to hiring.

POLICY

1. All advertisements for positions must contain the following statement: "Prior to a final offer of employment the selected candidate will be required to submit to a background check including, but not limited to, employment verification, educational and other credential verification and criminal background check."

2. When an offer of employment is extended the candidate will be advised that a background check must be completed prior to the offer being confirmed by the University. The Office of Human Resources will verify the accuracy of the information provided by a candidate regarding previous employment, educational attainment and other information that is directly related to the job.

3. Verifications will be made through a contract vendor who will be required to contact previous employers and educational institutions attended, if applicable to verify the credentials and employment history as provided by the candidate. Verifications will be coordinated by the Office of Human Resources office.

4. A criminal history verification will be conducted by the contracted provider on the recommended candidate prior to making a formal offer of employment.

5. Criminal history documentation will be maintained by the Office of Human Resources and will be kept in strict confidence by the University.

6. Candidates will be provided a copy of the criminal history report, informed of any findings of concern, and given the opportunity to verify and respond to them.

7. Only criminal convictions will be considered when making employment decisions. An applicant's arrest record should not be provided and will not be considered, if provided, when making employment decisions.

8. Criminal conviction does not necessarily preclude employment with the University. When evaluating this information, the following will be considered:

(1) The nature and gravity of the offense

(2) The amount of time that has passed since the conviction and/or completion of the sentence

(3) Evidence of rehabilitation

(4) The nature of the job in question

9. Reasonable caution will be exercised when interpreting evaluative information to ensure that discrimination does not occur.

10. This policy does not replace any specific background verification processes already in place at the University, for example, for Police Officer vacancies or positions covered by Act 34 and Act 151.
RESPONSIBILITIES

All individuals who receive background and criminal history information shall keep such information confidential. Information will be provided on a strict need-to-know basis and any discussions will be pertinent to the hiring process.

1. Director of Human Resources/Provost's Office

(1) To incorporate the requirements of this policy into the recruitment and selection process.

(2) To notify job applicants of the requirements of this policy before and during the recruitment and selection process.

(3) To interpret criminal history information and recommend appropriate action to the President.

(4) To ensure compliance with this policy and relevant procedures.

(5) To assure consistent application of standards in decision making across the University relative to review of work history, educational history and criminal convictions.

2. Assistant to the President for Social Equity

(1) To evaluate the employment process and approve/disapprove the selection decision.

(2) To provide input on decisions relative to criminal background issues as appropriate.

3. Vice Presidents

(1) To evaluate the information provided by the Director of Human Resources, the Search Committee or department conducting the search prior to approving the recommendation of the Search Committee.

PROCEDURE

1. Applicants will complete an Information Release Authorization and will be provided with A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act during their initial campus interview.

2. When a recommended candidate has been identified, the Human Resources Office will forward the name, address, social security number, date of birth, information release authorization and resume/application for employment to the contracted provider.

3. The contracted provider will conduct a previous employment and/or education (if relevant) check (licensure and certification check as appropriate) and criminal history check of the recommended candidate.

4. If the record does not include criminal convictions, the contracted provider will so advise Human Resources. The contract provider will provide the Office of Human Resources with a full report of all verifications/checks that were completed.

5. If the record contains criminal convictions, the Director of Human Resources Office will evaluate the record on the basis of Section 7. (1), (2), (3), and (4) of the policy above. The candidate will be contacted, given the opportunity to meet personally with the Director of Human Resources, respond to the criminal history report, and provided with a copy of the criminal history report. The recommended candidate will be provided five business days to respond to the criminal background check with any information that he/she feels the University should consider prior to making a final decision regarding an offer of employment. The criminal history record will be maintained by the Director of Human Resources in a locked file.

6. In all cases, the Director of Human Resources will evaluate all information obtained via background and criminal history checks and recommend to the appropriate Vice President, or President, appropriate employment action.

7. This policy is consistent with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Title VII, and other relevant Federal and Commonwealth Statutes.