Background Check Policy
In order to verify the pertinent backgrounds of individuals before being hired into positions at The University of North Alabama, the University conducts a pre-employment background check as part of its employment procedures. The University contracts with an outside agency to perform the background checks. The cost for the checks is be borne by the University. At minimum, a criminal records search and verification of social security number is required for all recommended candidates for faculty and staff positions*. As such, the background checks are conducted by the Office of Human Resources and Affirmative Action (HRAA) only upon receipt of a recommendation to hire a candidate for a position. A pre-employment credit history check will be conducted for selected candidates for, but not limited to, the following positions:
Senior and executive level management positions
Positions with access to university financial and/or sensitive information, records/databases
Positions handling cash and checks on a regular basis
Job postings for positions subject to background investigations will contain notification to applicants that, prior to hiring, the final candidate must successfully pass a pre-employment background investigation. As a general rule, the results of the investigation must be received before an offer of employment can be made. However, under extreme circumstances, an offer of employment may be made prior to the completion of the background check provided the contract states that employment is contingent upon a satisfactory report. For this particular situation, the contract must contain the following statement: “This offer is contingent upon the completion of a background investigation which reveals satisfactory results.” Although the offer may be made in this manner, the employee may not begin work in any capacity for the University without a completed satisfactory background investigation.
Background Investigation Procedure: Upon receipt of a recommendation to interview candidates for a position, the Office of HRAA will provide the selected candidates with the proper disclosures and “Authorization to Release Information/Request for Background Check” form. *Background investigations for Teachers at Kilby School and for Public Safety Officers will continue to be conducted by their respective departments according to state requirements.
Although a background check will include, at minimum, a criminal history and social security number trace, and, for some positions, a credit history, it is the responsibility of the recommending official to check employment and/personal references and to verify required professional licenses and certifications prior to a formal background investigation request being submitted. Academic degrees will continue to be verified through official transcripts which will be maintained in each selected candidate’s personnel file. If required for a particular position, a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) may be requested by the recommending official. If a background check shows possible disqualifying information, the Office of HRAA, in consultation with the recommending official and his/her respective Vice President, will determine whether to exclude the candidate. In making this determination, the following factors should be taken into consideration: the nature and details of the conviction, the length of time that has passed since the offense occurred, how the crime relates to the responsibilities of the position, and any evidence of rehabilitation. However, the President reserves the right to make the ultimate decision concerning the disposition of each candidate.
If the possibility of adverse action exists, the Office of HRAA will provide a Pre-Adverse Action Notice along with a copy of the consumer report and a notice of rights to the candidate. The candidate has a minimum of five business days to refute information with the provider. If the candidate fails to respond in a timely manner to remove or to clarify the disqualifying information, the recommending manager will be notified by the Office of HRAA, and he/she may proceed with the selection process and recommend another candidate. If the decision is made not to hire the candidate, a Final Adverse Action Notice is mailed or emailed to the candidate by the Office of HRAA explaining the reason for not hiring. Background checks revealing misrepresentations may be grounds for immediate rejection of the application. All information received in the background investigation process will be maintained in confidential, secure files, separate from employee personnel files, with access allowed only to those who have a need to know.Approved by Board of Trustees June 11, 2007