Cornell College

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Department:              Human Resources

Subject:                       Background Check Policy

Date Issued:               September 2010

Date Revised:             September 2011

Approved By:             President’s Council

 

Policy

Cornell College conducts background checks for faculty, staff, key students and select volunteers in order to promote a safe learning and working environment and protect the welfare of current and future students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the College.  Additionally, the policy provides compliance with guidelines set forth by the College’s risk management insurance company.     

 

Policy Questions

Questions pertaining to this policy should be directed to your supervisor, division vice-president, or director of human resources (x4243).  It is the responsibility of the director of human resources to keep this policy up-to-date in conjunction with any changes in legal requirements. 

 

Scope

This policy applies to faculty, staff, key students and select volunteers.

 

Definitions

  • External Employment Candidate

A person applying for a job with Cornell that does not currently work for Cornell, and is not applying for an adjunct faculty position.

 

  • Internal Employment Candidate

A person currently working for Cornell and a candidate for a position substantially different from their present position.

  • Adjunct faculty

Faculty hired after July 1, 2010 to teach one or more blocks on a periodic basis and having never before worked for the college.

 

  • Temporary Employees

A employee hired to only work a set/short period of time.

 

  • Key Students

Resident assistants, library student workers, peer advocates, camp workers, or other students in a position with access to minors, or developmentally disabled persons or vulnerable adults and hired after July 1, 2010 and having never before worked for the college.  Outside vendors, such as Bon Appétit, employing Cornell students maintain the responsibility for them and Cornell College will not perform background checks for these student workers. 

 

  • Volunteers

A person who wants to perform services for Cornell free of charge and in their volunteer capacity will have access to minors, or developmentally disabled persons or vulnerable adults, with a volunteer start date after September 1, 2011.

 

Process

The hiring manager may extend a conditional offer of employment to their finalist.  Then background checks are performed before the offer can be finalized.

If a candidate refuses to sign a background check, or signs one and it is determined they have falsified or withheld information during the application process they will be disqualified from employment.

 

Background Checks

Type of Candidate

 

 

External

 

Internal

Adjunct/Temporary Employees

Key Student/Volunteers

Background check link distributed and candidate entered into the background check database by HR:

When candidate meets with HR for benefits overview

When a current employee notifies HR of their intent to apply for a position 

When the Dean’s office notifies HR to distribute

When the hiring supervisor notifies HR to distrib

Who notifies HR to run the check:

The hiring manager

 The hiring manager

The Dean’s Office for adjunct, the hiring manager for all others

 The hiring/volunteer supervisor

What checks are requested via HR to an outside reporting agency: 

 

Note:  The College will ensure, as far as possible, that all checks are conducted in compliance with federal and state statutes.

Residency History; Social Security Verification; All County Criminal Search (all counties within the past 7 years, includes maiden name search); Nationwide Criminal Database & 50 State Sex Offender Registry; Education Verification and Previous Employment Verification (up to 3 jobs, or a maximum of 10 years).

 

 If operating a College-owned vehicle and/or transporting people or material for the College a motor vehicle check will be run. 

 

Residency History; Social Security Verification; All County Criminal Search (all counties within the past 7 years, includes maiden name search); Nationwide Criminal Database & 50 State Sex Offender Registry; Education* Verification and Previous Employment Verification (up to 3 jobs, or a maximum of 10 years).

 

*The Dean’s office will verify education for all teaching hires.

 

 If operating a College-owned vehicle and/or transporting people or material for the College a motor vehicle check will be run. 

Social Security Verification, Nationwide Criminal Database and 50 State Sex Offender Registry.

 

The Dean’s office will verify education.  HR will verify education of temporary employees.

 

If operating a College-owned vehicle and/or transporting people or material for the College a motor vehicle check will be run. 

Social Security Verification, Nationwide Criminal Database and 50 State Sex Offender Registry.

 

If operating a College-owned vehicle and/or transporting people or material for the College a motor vehicle check will be run. 

*No employment verification will be run for candidates whose primary experience is working as a research assistant, etc. in preparation of defending or obtaining their Ph.D.

 


Results

1.Results from the outside reporting agency will be sent to the Human Resources Director or Coordinator.

2. If results show no criminal convictions and no significant motor vehicle violations, the Human Resources Director or Coordinator will notify   the hiring manager/search committee chair, or other appropriate person that the candidate is approved to move forward with a final job offer or that a current employee may be transferred to a new or interim position.

3. If results show a criminal conviction or a significant motor vehicle violation, the Human Resources Director or Coordinator will review the information in consultation with the division Vice-President or division head and the President of the College.  A decision to hire an applicant with a criminal conviction or a significant motor vehicle violation requires approval of the President. 

 

4. If results reveal a criminal conviction or significant motor vehicle violation, which might factor in an adverse action, Human Resources will notify the candidate that the conditional offer of employment has been withdrawn and provide to the candidate a Pre-Adverse Action Notice along with a copy of the report, a notice of the individual’s rights under the Federal Fair Credit and Reporting Act (FCRA) to the candidate, and the contact information of the outside reporting agency.  If the candidate believes the report provided to the College is inaccurate, the College will give the candidate a reasonable period of time to refute the disputed information with the vendor.

 

5. If a decision is made not to hire a candidate on the basis of a criminal conviction or a motor vehicle violation, a Final Adverse Action Notice will be mailed notifying the candidate of the decision and providing the candidate with an additional copy of the background report, notice of the individual’s rights under FCRA, the contact information of the outside reporting agency and a statement that this agency is not responsible for the adverse action and cannot explain why it was made.  A decision to deny employment to an applicant on the basis of a criminal conviction or a motor vehicle violation requires the approval of the President. 

6. A criminal conviction or a motor vehicle violation does not automatically disqualify an individual from employment.  In making the determination of the job-relatedness of a criminal conviction or a motor vehicle violation, consideration will be given to the position for which the applicant is being considered; how recently the incident(s) occurred; the frequency and severity of the incident(s); the age of the individual at the time of the incident(s); evidence of rehabilitation; and the safety and security of the campus.  When in doubt, the Human Resources Director or Coordinator may elect to consult with legal counsel.


    Confidentiality

    Only the Human Resources department may initiate criminal or motor vehicles records check and receive results.  Results of all such checks will be kept strictly confidential and will not be disclosed to any person except to the extent necessary to administer and enforce this policy, or as required by law or appropriate legal process.  Records will be maintained as part of a confidential file in the Human Resources department, separate from employee personnel files.  Violation of the confidentiality requirement is grounds for discipline, up to and including termination of employment.