3.4 - Background, Reference, and Verification Screens Policy

: Human Resources
: President
: 09/20/2018
: 09/20/2018
: 09/20/2019
Comment on Policy

3.4.1 - AUDIENCE

All University employees and volunteers, as well as student employees (excluding student ambassadors) who work with or work in an environment with minors (persons under the age of eighteen years who are not enrolled as students at the University). 


The purpose of this Policy is to establish the University’s background, reference, and verification checks and screening requirements for final candidates for employment and volunteers.


Applicant: a current, former, or prospective employee who submits information to be considered for positions at the University, including individuals not currently employed by the University and current University employees seeking promotional or transfer opportunities to different positions.

Background Check: means the process of gathering and reviewing criminal history records, and/or driving records.

Candidates for Employment: means a current, former, or prospective employee recommended for hire, transfer, or promotion and to whom a contingent offer will be made.

Credit History Check: means the process of gathering and reviewing financial history records or information furnished by any court of civil law, credit reporting agency (credit report), or a third-party vendor in the business of obtaining and providing credit reports.

Criminal Records Check: means the process of gathering and reviewing criminal history records or information furnished by a criminal justice agency or third-party vendor in the business of obtaining and providing criminal history records relating to an individual’s criminal convictions.  A criminal history record does not include an individual’s conviction records that have been sealed by court order.  Criminal records include in-state, out-of-state and international criminal history, including misdemeanor and felony convictions.

DMV/Driving Record Check: means the process of gathering and reviewing driver’s license records or information, including records from any state where the individual has resided.

Reference Check: means the process of contacting individuals directly or through a third-party vendor, including current and former employers, companies, and educational institutions that may reasonably be relied upon to provide relevant information regarding fitness for employment.

Verification Screens: means the process of verifying an Applicant’s education, professional licenses, academic credentials, and work experience.

Volunteer: means any uncompensated individual who is authorized by a University department, division, or unit to perform humanitarian, charitable or public services on behalf of the University, or to gain personal or professional experience in specific endeavors.  By definition, Volunteers perform services without promise, expectation or receipt of any compensation, future employment or any other tangible benefit.

Vulnerable Population Programs: means University –sponsored programs and activities, including but not limited to academic programs and camps, serving minors or at-risk adults.

3.4.4 - THE POLICY

It is the policy of Thomas More University to perform background, reference, and verification checks and screens (“Background Checks”) in accordance with the procedures set forth herein. The results of Background Checks are confidential and are to be shared with employees of the University on a strict “need to know” basis.

Applicants and volunteers must consent to Background Checks to be considered for a position.  Any Applicant who refuses to consent to such checks, refuses to provide information necessary to conduct the checks and screens, or provides false or misleading information will not be considered for the position for which s/he has applied.  Any Applicant who has already been hired or promoted and is subsequently found to have provided false or misleading information related to the checks or screens may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

In addition, candidates for employment selected for certain safety-sensitive University jobs (e.g. Campus Safety) must consent to pre-employment drug and alcohol screening as a condition of employment. This includes candidates who are already University employees, and who are seeking transfer into a position requiring testing. Such tests may include (but are not limited to) urine and/or blood analysis. Any positive test will be confirmed as required under applicable regulations (see e.g., Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991). Confirmed positive drug or alcohol test results that cannot be substantiated by medical evidence of legitimate drug use as determined by a licensed medical review officer, or refusal to be tested, will be grounds for disqualification. Applicants disqualified for service will not be eligible for University employment until six months have passed from their notice of disqualification.


Confidentiality Policy
Record Retention Policy
Use of University Vehicles Policy
Volunteers Policy


I. Type of Checks and Screens Required

The University will conduct the following Background Checks as applicable:

A. Reference Checks and Verification Screens
Reference Checks and Verification Screens must be completed for Candidates for Employment. The hiring department is responsible for conducting Reference Checks and Verification Screen.

B. Criminal Records Check
Thomas More University will conduct a Criminal Records Check and a search of the Kentucky registry of sex offender for Candidates for Employment and Volunteers unless the University has completed a Criminal Record Check on the individual within the previous three years. A conviction will not automatically bar employment. The University will consider the date of the conviction, circumstances of the conviction, and the position for which the Candidate for Hire or Volunteer is applying, as well as any other pertinent circumstances. Refusal to allow the criminal record screen will result in denial of hiring consideration.

Any Candidates for Employment who have a conviction or plea involving any sexual related crime or violent behavior will not be considered for employment.

C. DMV/Driving Record Check
A DMV/Driving Record Check will be conducted for Candidates for Employment who will be assigned to positions that require a responsibility for driving. In addition, a DMV/Driving Record Check will be conducted at such time as any employee, student, or volunteer who does not regularly operate a University vehicle as part of his or her responsibilities requests to operate a University vehicle for official University business or sanctioned activities. As defined in the University Vehicles Policy, a University vehicle is any vehicle owned or leased by Thomas More University.

A successful DMV/Driving Record Check will be valid for one year. See the Use of University Vehicles Policy for additional information.

D. Credit History Check
A Credit History Check must be conducted for Candidates for Employment for positions in campus departments with centralized and primary responsibility for significant University resources.

If the University decides to take any adverse action (not hiring, not promoting, firing) based upon the results of a negative credit check conducted by a third-party reporting agency, prior to taking action, the University will supply (send or give) the applicant a copy of the credit report, and a description of his/her rights under the FCRA. The Applicant will be given five-business days to contest the report before taking adverse action. After any adverse action is taken, University will give the candidate the following information:
1. Notice of adverse action taken;
2. Name, address, and phone number of consumer reporting agency that provided report;
3. Statement that the reporting agency did not make the adverse decision, and cannot give the consumer a reason for the decision;
4. Notice of consumer’s rights to obtain a free copy of report within 60 days; and
5. Notice of consumer's right to dispute accuracy or completeness of report.

F. Pre-Employment Drug and Alcohol Screening
Candidates for employment selected for certain safety-sensitive University jobs must consent to pre-employment drug and alcohol screening as a condition of employment. Before pre-employment drug and alcohol screening, each candidate will be informed about how the test will be performed, the substance(s) for which the candidate is being tested, and what will be done with the test results. Test results will be reported to the candidate and the Director of Human Resources or designee. Test results will be considered confidential and the reporting of test results beyond the aforementioned group shall occur only on a "need to know" basis.

II. Vulnerable Population Programs

Volunteers, students, and third-parties (including their employees, agents, and subcontractors) providing services for a University-sponsored Vulnerable Population Program shall be required to satisfactorily complete a Criminal Record Check and a search of the Kentucky registry of sex offender list. Hiring departments and supervisors of Volunteers, Student Employees, and Contractors are responsible for compliance with this requirement and shall initiate the Criminal Background Check and sex offender registry search process through Human Resources.

III. Recordkeeping

Human Resources will maintain Background Check records. Materials for Applicants not hired will be retained in accordance with the University’s Record Retention Policy.

IV. Job Postings/Recruitments

All recruitment information (job posting, flyers, external advertising) must state that employment is contingent upon obtaining and maintaining satisfactory Background Check.


3.4.8 - HISTORY

This is a new policy, replacing language in the Staff Manual (May 2014).

3.4.9 - APPENDIX

There are no appendices to this Policy.

3.4.10 - APPROVALS

Laura Custer, Director of Human Resources

Dr. Kathleen Jagger, Acting President