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Background Check Procedures

Please refer to HR 2016-08 for the comprehensive CSU system wide Background Check Policy.

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1. Overview

Background checks are required for all final candidate(s) considered for hire. Individuals who are currently employed in positions in which a background check is required by law, are required to undergo background checks. Current employees are also subject to background checks if they are voluntarily under consideration for new positions that the CSU has designated as sensitive. This includes all temporary, probationary, intermittent, and at-will employees. Background checks are not required for involuntary reassignments or reclassifications or other employment changes that do not result in the employee moving into a different position. Sensitive positions are those designated by the CSU as requiring heightened scrutiny of individuals holding the position, based on potential for harm to children, concerns for the safety and security of people, animals, or property, or heightened risk of financial loss to the CSU or individuals in the university community.

Student workers and volunteers must be background checked only if they are performing work in which a background check is required by law and/or if they have access to Level 1 data. Consultants, independent contractors, and employees of auxiliaries or outside entities must undergo background checks if required by law or if the work they will be performing meets the CSU definition of “sensitive”. In addition to the above requirements, background checks are required for all individuals (new hires, current employees, volunteers, consultants, and the employees of auxiliaries, outside entities and independent contractors) who perform work involving regular or direct contact with minor children, including at CSU-hosted recreational camps.

Background checks are required for current employees when:

  • Federal or state law requires a background check.
  • The current employee is voluntarily moving into a position for which a background check is required by law or a sensitive position that requires a background check.
  • Student workers must have background checks if they will have duties that would require a background check by law and/or if they have access to Level 1 data.
  • Background checks are required for volunteers if they will have duties and responsibilities that would require a background check by law and/or if they have access to Level 1 data.
  • Independent Contractors, consultants, auxiliaries and outside entities who operate under the CSU name or on CSU property are responsible for ensuring that their employees have had background checks if they perform duties that are defined as sensitive or require a background check by law.

Background checks are NOT required for:

  • FERP employees, unless they voluntarily move into positions that would require a background check.
  • Current employees, unless they voluntarily move into a position that requires a background check.
  • Employees rehired at the same campus who have had a CSU background check performed in the previous 12 months.
  • Employees re-appointed to the same position at the same campus within 12 months.

2. Types of Background Checks

Required

  • Criminal Records Check
    • Accurate Background
    • Live Scan
  • Educational Verification
  • Employment Verification
  • Reference Checks

Optional (checks that may be done if job-related):

  • Credit History Check
  • Motor Vehicle Records/Licensing Check
  • State/National Sexual Offender Registry Check
  • Professional Licensing, Certification, and/or Credential Verification

3. Responsibilities

Campus Departments: Campus departments will be responsible for working with the appropriate individual/department to determine whether a position will be performing sensitive work which would subject the candidate to a background check. This determination must be made BEFORE the position is advertised or any recruiting/services begin.

Background Check Processor: The Background Check Processor is housed in the Employment Services unit of the Human Resources Services Center. This individual will coordinate background checks for the following groups: MPP, Staff, Volunteers, and Special Consultants. The Background Check Processor will be responsible for reviewing results of all background checks. The Background Check Processor will notify the AVP, Staff Human Resources of all records checks that have findings that may inhibit a candidate from being hired. The Background Check Processor serves in the role as Records Custodian for Background Check Results. While the background check results are retained electronically through a secured, CSU approved, third party vendor (Accurate Background), as the Custodian of Records, the Background Check Processor will be required to ensure that should records arrive on campus that they keep any background check records in a location that is secure and separate from the employee’s official personnel file. They will also be responsible for maintaining and destroying the Criminal Offender Record Information no later than the termination of the new hire’s employment or two (2) years from rejection due to the Criminal Offender Record Information.

Office of Faculty Affairs: The Office of Faculty Affairs will coordinate background checks for Unit 3 employees and Special Consultants hired through Faculty Affairs. This office will also be responsible for determining whether any Unit 3 positions are performing sensitive work which would subject the candidate being considered to background checks. The determination must be made BEFORE the position is advertised. The individual in the sensitive position/assignment must successfully complete the background check BEFORE they are hired to work in this capacity.

Procurement: will work with departments to ensure that independent contractors provide verification that they have completed all required background checks.

Classification and Compensation: The Classification and Compensation department will work with Hiring Managers to determine whether any MPP, Staff, Volunteer, and Special Consultant positions are performing sensitive work which would subject them to background checks. The determination must be made BEFORE the position is advertised. The individual in the sensitive positions/assignment must successfully complete the background check BEFORE they are hired or begin volunteering for the university.

Background Check Review Committee: The Background Check Review Committee consists of the following: AVP of Staff Human Resources, Risk Manager, Chief of Police, and the AVP, Faculty Affairs (when reviewing results for Unit 3 employees). The AVP of Staff Human Resources will be notified by the Background Check Processor of all criminal records checks with findings. Criminal records checks with findings will be brought to the Background Check Review Committee. The Background Check Review Committee will review the results of criminal offender records information to assess and make a decision on the final candidate’s suitability for the position based on the results of the entire background check.

University Police Department: The University Police Department will conduct fingerprinting (Live Scan) as required. The Chief of Police or designee will serve as the Records Custodian for all fingerprint records. Results of all criminal records checks will be sent to the AVP of Staff Human Resources.

4. Background Check Process

Criminal Records Check:

A. MPP/Staff appointments

  1. Hiring Department selects final candidate and notifies Manager, Staff Recruitment.
  2. Manager, Staff Recruitment initiates Background Check through the Background Check Processor.
  3. Background Check Processor contacts the candidate, requests a non-CSU, Chico email address, and initiates the appropriate background check process through Accurate Background.
  4. Findings are returned to the Background Check Processor.
  5. Background Check Processor reviews results and moves to meets requirements when appropriate.
  6. Background Check Processor notifies AVP, Staff Human Resources of any findings for review and consideration.
  7. AVP, Staff Human Resources convenes the Background Check Review Committee if results of background check have findings that may disqualify a candidate from employment. If adverse action is to be taken on a candidate, the Background Check Processor will initiate the pre-adverse action notice and action notice (when applicable).
  8. Background Check Processor will notify Manager, Staff Recruitment when a candidate is cleared for hire. Final decisions are logged in the appropriate systems.

B. Unit 3 Faculty appointments

  1. Hiring Department selects final candidates and forwards Authorization to Extend an Offer for signature.
  2. FAAF Recruitment Coordinator will notify of approval to hire and request top candidate name, and non-CSU, Chico email address.
  3. FAAF Recruitment Coordinator initiates the appropriate background check process through Accurate Background.

C. Volunteers, Special Consultant and Independent Contractors

  1. The Background Check Processor will be notified of background checks necessary for Volunteers, Special Consultant and Independent Contractors.
  2. Background Check Processor contacts the candidate and initiates the appropriate background check process through Accurate Background.
  3. Findings are returned to the Background Check Processor.
  4. Background Check Processor reviews results and moves to meets requirements when appropriate.
  5. Background Check Processor notifies AVP, Staff Human Resources of any findings for review and consideration.
  6. AVP, Staff Human Resources convenes the Background Check Review Committee if results of background check have findings that may disqualify a candidate from employment. If adverse action is to be taken on a candidate, the Background Check Processor will initiate the pre-adverse action notice and action notice (when applicable).
  7. Background Check Processor will notify Manager, Classification and Compensation when a candidate is cleared for hire. Final decisions are logged in the appropriate systems.

D. Auxiliary Employees working on campus

  1. IN PROGRESS

E. Live Scan (Used for Student Employee positions and positions requiring fingerprinting)

  1. Notice – Job announcements shall include a statement indicating that candidates are subject to a criminal records check.
  2. Criminal History Disclosure Form – The candidate shall be provided a Criminal History Disclosure form, for the criminal background check, to sign and return to the University Police Department prior to the initiation of the check. Said disclosure form will also contain the procedure an applicant/employee may use to challenge the accuracy of a background check report.
  3. In most cases offers of employment are not to be made prior to receiving the results of the Live Scan. If circumstances require that an offer or decision be made before the completion of the investigation, the offer must be in writing and state that the offer is contingent on the completion of a satisfactory criminal records investigation.
  4. Under no circumstances are applicants to be hired or to start working prior to receiving the results of the Live Scan.
  5. The Human Resources Service Center or the Office of Faculty Affairs will inform the department and the candidate when we will not be offering the candidate the position.

Criminal Background Escalation/ Adverse Action Process:

When adverse information is found as a result of the criminal records check, applicants must be notified and given an opportunity to review the criminal records check results and submit an explanation through an appeal process as outlined below.

  1. Pre-Averse Action Notice: The campus must first provide a Pre-Adverse Action Notice to the applicant, including a copy of the report together with a copy of “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.”
  2. Five Business Days to Request Review: When notified of the intended adverse action, the applicant shall be given five (5) business days to request, in writing, clarification or further review of the decision. The campus Decision Maker(s) must wait five (5) business days after notice is provided and consider the applicant’s appeal before making a final decision.
  3. Adverse Action Notice: The campus may finalize its decision to disqualify the applicant if, after five (5) business days, no additional information has been presented establishing that disqualification based on the initial results of the check is inappropriate. If the decision is finalized, the campus will notify the individual of the non-selection using the Adverse Action Notice.

Education Verification Process:

A. New MPP/Staff appointments and Current Staff moving into sensitive positions

  1. The Background Check Processor will perform education verification through the National Student Clearinghouse, when used as a qualifying factor for the position and/or if listed on a candidate’s application, once the background check has been initiated for New Hires and Current Staff moving into sensitive positions.
  2. Background Check Processor initiates process through National Student Clearinghouse.
  3. Findings are returned to the Background Check Processor.
  4. Background Check Processor notifies Recruitment Manager of any findings for review and consideration.

B. New Unit 3 appointments

  1. Hiring Committee will verify degree/education prior to requesting an authorization to extend an offer. FAAF has access to the National Student Clearinghouse and will, upon request, perform a search for records to assist in verification – however records are not always readily found (especially for non-resident applicants). Contact the Recruitment Coordinator to request a National Student Clearinghouse check.

Employment Verification Process:

A. New MPP/Staff appointments and Current Staff moving into sensitive positions

  1. The campus will attempt to verify all relevant employment reported by the candidate.

New Unit 3 appointments

  1. Hiring Committee will verify relevant employment reported by the candidate during reference check portion of the process.

Reference Check Process:

A. New MPP/Staff appointments and Current Staff moving into sensitive positions

  1. Before an offer of employment is extended to the candidate, appropriate checking of professional references must be conducted. A minimum of two reference checks are required for every new hire. Reference checks can only be conducted by the Hiring Manager, Appropriate Administrator or Employment Services.

B. New Unit 3 appointments

  1. Hiring committee will conduct reference checks for final candidate prior to requesting authorization to extend an offer.

Reference Check Process:

If determined to be job-related, the campus will review the candidate’s credit report history check, motor vehicle records/licensing check, professional licensing, certification, and/ or credential verification.

Reference Check Process:

For all employment positions with regular or direct contact with minors, the campus will verify if applicants have been included in any state or federal sexual offender registry. Campuses may access records from the Megan’s Law website (http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/) to conduct a California state sexual offender registry check. For a national sexual offender registry search, campuses may access the U. S. Department of Justice’s website (www.nsopr.gov) and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s website (www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety).