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Criminal Background Check Policy

Human Resources Policy: HR 06 06

A. Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to further The University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s (UNCP) commitment to providing a safe learning and workplace environment for its students, staff and faculty. In implementing this policy, the University is guided by the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 that requires employers to provide their employees with a safe and healthy work environment. Section I of this policy provides definitions that are helpful in gaining a better understanding of this policy.

B. Scope: A Criminal Background Check is required for any final candidate for employment, including UNCP employees changing jobs, at the University in a “security sensitive” position or in any position for which a check is required by law.

C. Policy: It is the University’s policy to conduct criminal background checks on final candidates who are selected for employment into any position designated as “security sensitive.”

D. Responsibilities: The Chancellor and Vice Chancellors are responsible for ensuring a safe learning and workplace environment for students, staff and faculty by evaluating criminal conviction reports when issues arise and making the final hiring decisions.

Financial Managers (FM) are responsible for submitting the Criminal Background Check Authorization form of the final candidate to Human Resources (HR) prior to making a verbal conditional offer of employment. A conditional offer of employment may be extended to a final candidate prior to Human Resources’ completion of the check. However, the FM is responsible for ensuring the candidate's first day of work in the position is not prior to the satisfactory completion of the check. Every job offer extended for a position subject to this policy will be conditional until the appropriate University official reviews the criminal background check report and determines how to proceed based upon information contained in that report.
Candidates are responsible for submitting the Criminal Background Check Authorization form to the FM or to the Search Committee Chair at the time of their interview.
The Human Resources Director or designee is responsible for ensuring that the policy is administered on a non-discriminatory basis and that all necessary components are in place for conducting an effective criminal background check program.

Human Resources (HR) will ensure that all employment materials, including job postings (e.g., advertisements, Website and bulletin board), advise applicants that a criminal background check will be completed on any individual who is selected as the final candidate for “security sensitive” positions. HR will maintain records and will periodically report to the Chancellor on the operation of this policy.

E. Employment Eligibility: A previous conviction does not automatically disqualify a candidate from consideration from employment with the University. The candidate may still be eligible for employment with the University depending on a variety of factors (e.g., the relevance of the conviction to the duties and responsibilities that would be assigned to the candidate if hired, the date(s) of the convictions, and the candidate’s record since the date(s) of the conviction(s). However, if a candidate fails to reveal any previous conviction on the Criminal Background Check Authorization form or employment application, he/she will be disqualified from employment in that or any other position at the University for a period of one year because of falsification of his/her application. The conviction(s) may remain relevant to and be considered in any hiring, promotion, or transfer decision made subsequent to such a year of disqualification from employment. If a candidate is hired after failing to disclose a conviction, falsification of an employment application will be grounds for dismissal from employment. Additional penalties for falsification of an application may apply if required by law.

F. Procedure: 1. The FM or Search Committee Chair will have candidates complete the Criminal Background Check Authorization form during the interview process.

2. Once the interview process is completed and a final candidate is recommended, the FM or Search Committee Chair will forward the completed Criminal Background Check Authorization form for the final candidate to HR.

3. HR will be responsible for coordinating the criminal background check process. It is expected that the investigation of an applicant will take no longer than five business days to complete.
Note: Applicant information is confidential personnel information, and all parties having access to this information will maintain it as confidential.

G. Cost: Hiring departments are responsible for the service fee (per form) for criminal background check requests. HR will process the forms for payment. (Pending identification of a vendor and procedure development, it may be that it can be billed directly to the department.)

H. Candidates for Employment: When a hiring department reaches the final selection stage in the hiring process for EPA Faculty, EPA Non-Faculty, SPA and Temporary (Personal Service and Certified Services Contracts) in positions covered under this policy, the department must forward a copy of the selected candidate's employment application and the completed Criminal Background Check Authorization form to HR.

HR will contact a vendor to conduct an investigation in all North Carolina counties in which the applicant has lived and/or worked to the extent known to the University to determine whether there is any criminal conviction that may affect the hiring decision. Criminal background checks will also be made for other states as listed on the form.

When the investigation is complete, HR will request that the vendor complete a report on the candidate. In the event that a criminal conviction record is discovered, HR will review it further with the hiring FM. The FM will discuss the record with the candidate and will allow for a written explanation. As appropriate, concerns will be elevated to the appropriate Vice Chancellor or Chancellor.

Employment into positions covered under this policy cannot begin until HR completes the criminal background check and provides written verification to the department.

I. Definitions:

Appropriate Market Rate is defined as the market rate applicable to the functional competencies demonstrated by the employee.

Criminal Background Check means verifying that the final candidate for a position or contract does not have any undisclosed criminal history in any jurisdiction where the candidate and/or employee discloses that he or she currently resides or has resided during the previous seven (7) years.

Employee is defined as any person currently employed by UNC Pembroke, whether full-time, part-time, permanent or temporary.

Financial Manager (FM) is defined as any person currently employed by UNC Pembroke who as part of his/her position has budgetary responsibilities for hiring recommendations or decisions for permanent hires or temporary contract employees.

Financial Resources is the amount of funding that a manager has available when making pay decisions.

Internal Pay Alignment is the consistent alignment of salaries for employees who demonstrate similar required competencies in the same banded class within a work unit or organization.

Required Competencies is defined as the functional competencies and associated levels that are required based on organizational business need and demonstrated on the job.

Security Sensitive Positions include, but are not limited to: positions within the police department; senior officers as defined by UNC General Administration 300.1.1 Senior Academic and Administrative Officers, athletic coaching positions, positions that require working directly with children under the age of 13 years on campus or within the University’s custody or control; positions identified by a Vice Chancellor or Chancellor as being security sensitive; and any positions for which a criminal background check is required by law.