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Background Checks Policy

General Information
This policy is intended to help the University protect its interests and the well-being of its students, staff, faculty, and the public. This policy establishes parameters for criminal history and related background checks on individuals who are offered employment at the University. Convictions or other issues disclosed or discovered in the employment process may influence the selection of the applicant. Likewise, failure to be forthcoming about criminal history or any misrepresentation of education or work history may also influence the selection of the applicant.

Policy Provisions

When are background checks required?

Background checks are required for any new staff member hired.  The University reserves the right to perform background checks for other positions and/or under other circumstances.

Do current employees have to undergo background checks?
Generally, current employees do not have to undergo background checks unless a transfer, promotion, reclassification, or change in their job duties moves their position into an identified category.  The University reserves the right to perform background checks on employees under other circumstances.

Which positions are identified?
For purposes of this policy, all full-time staff positions are pre-identified for background checks. 

For all other positions, including part-time positions in each of the areas above, the hiring department, in consultation with Human Resources, will determine whether a background check is appropriate, based on the duties and responsibilities of each position.

What information will be obtained as part of the background check?
Each background check will, at a minimum, consist of:
• Social Security Number Trace Search
• Criminal Record Search
• Sexual Offender Database Search

Additional information such as, but not limited to, education verification, work history, and driving record may also be requested.

Does a background check include checking into a person’s credit history?
Generally, no. However, some positions, such as financial positions, may require additional background checks, including checking into a person’s credit history.

Access and Privacy

Who will have access to the background check results?
Human Resources will retain the results of background checks. If there are no criminal convictions or other issues revealed in the background check, Human Resources will notify the department to complete the hire. If there are criminal convictions or other issues revealed in the background check, Human Resources will notify the hiring manager, review the results with him or her, and collectively make a final determination regarding the suitability of the candidate for the specific position.

How will the University protect an individual’s privacy?
Drake University conducts background checks through Verified Credentials. Human Resources will serve as the Office of Record for all background check results and will strive to maintain confidentiality. Departments will not receive any details of a background check, except as otherwise contemplated by this policy. Drake University policy prohibits University employees and others from seeking out, using, or disclosing background check information except within the scope of their assigned duties and this policy, and/or as allowed by applicable laws.

Where will background check information be maintained?
If the individual is hired as an employee, the background check results will be filed in and become a permanent part of the employee’s personnel file in Human Resources.  If the individual is not hired as an employee, the background check results will be maintained with the individual’s application in Human Resources.

Hiring Issues

Can employees be hired before the background check has cleared?

An offer can be extended with the understanding that actual employment is dependent upon acceptable results with respect to the background check. 

Does a criminal conviction automatically preclude an applicant from employment or a current employee from a reclassification or promotion?
No. If there is a criminal conviction or other issue revealed in the background check, Human Resources and the hiring manager will review the results and make the final determination regarding the individual’s suitability for employment in the position. In some instances, the Human Resources may recommend additional controls that a department would need to implement before employing, promoting, or reclassifying a person convicted of a crime or with other issues revealed in the background check. Consideration will be given to many factors, including but not limited to, the specific duties of the position, the number of offenses and circumstances of each, and whether the convictions or other issues were disclosed during the application process.

Are there certain kinds of convictions that will generally preclude hiring into one of these identified positions?
Individuals with criminal convictions for theft, embezzlement, identity theft or fraud generally will not be hired into positions with fiduciary responsibilities. Likewise, convictions for child molestation and other sex offenses will generally preclude an individual from employment that involves direct, unsupervised contact with students or access to residence facilities. Workplace or domestic violence, or other convictions for behaviors that would be inappropriate for specific jobs may also be grounds for denial of employment. This list is not inclusive, but serves to illustrate the decision-making criteria.

Process & Forms

What specific forms and documents are needed for this process, and where can they be obtained?
Candidates who are extended a conditional offer of employment must complete a Consent and Disclosure form that informs the candidate that Drake University will be utilizing the services of Verified Credentials to conduct the background check and requests specific information necessary to complete the background screening.  In addition, the candidate must be given a copy of A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  The Consent and Disclosure form and the Summary of Rights document can be obtained from the Forms Library on the Employee tab in MyDusis or by contacting Human Resources.

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