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Criminal Background Screening

Type of Policy: UFHR – RS – 01 – 002
Effective Date: March 2011
Last Revised: November 2018

Purpose

This policy establishes the general guidelines, requirements, and processes for the University of Florida Human Resources (UFHR) and UF hiring departments in evaluating and treating criminal background checks on current or prospective employees, volunteers, and contractors in support of UF’s effort to maintain and foster safety for students, faculty, students, and institution assets.

Scope

This policy applies to all current and future UF employees, volunteers, and contractors.

Policy Statement

This policy provides the definitions and guidelines for conducting criminal background screening on potential and existing employees and for current UF employees on reporting criminal background records to their current supervisors or managers.

  • Criminal background screening shall be conducted on all potential new faculty, staff, and temporary employees to the University.
  • Criminal background screening may be conducted on an existing UF employee when an employee:
    1. Transfers into another position,
    2. Requires access to safety-sensitive or confidential information or location, especially when appropriate designated check was not conducted prior,
    3. Conducts business or performs work at facilities that requires additional screening as a result of federal and/or state statutes or grants,
    4. May have falsified his/her employment application or personnel records
  • Criminal background screening may be conducted on an employee when there is a suspicion that the employee may engaged in an activity that violates federal and state laws and university policies.
    1. Current employees, volunteers, and contractors shall notify appropriate University management of any charges to felony or first degree misdemeanor offense.
    2. Such notification must be made as soon as possible, within 24 hour period.
  • Type of screening will depend on following, but not limited to, factors:
    1. Current and previous three year’s residence.
    2. Responsibility of working with children/minors.
    3. Compliance with federal or state statutes.
    4. Access to confidential or sensitive information or materials.
    5. Nature of the position.
  • Type of Screenings
    • Level 1 Check
      • Search for criminal records through designated systems based solely on name, date of birth, race, gender, and/or any other personal information such as social security number, and physical address.
      • Type:
        1. Alachua – searches only for records occurred within Alachua County.
        2. Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) – searches for records against Florida Department Law Enforcement criminal database.
    • Level 2 Check
      • Requires submission of biometric information, include fingerprints, to search for records.
      • Type:
        1. FBI Livescan – searches for records within the Florida Department Law Enforcement (FDLE) and Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) databases.
        2. 435 Livescan – specifically used for positions working for UF BabyGator, UF summer camps, UF afterschool programs, and contracts funded by Florida Department of Children and Families.
  • All criminal records discovered from criminal background screening will be reviewed and assessed based on:
    1. The nature and gravity of the offense.
    2. The time period that has elapsed since the conviction.
    3. The nature of the job for which the applicant is being considered.
    4. Reoccurrence and pattern of criminal behavior.
    5. Falsification of employment and personnel-related materials.

Procedures

  • Recruitment and Staffing within UF Human Resources will be responsible for coordinating and conducting criminal background screening for all employees, volunteers, and contractors, with the exceptions of:
    1. IFAS 4-H volunteers
    2. PKY temporary employees
    3. UF Law Enforcement officers
  • Hiring authority/department will be responsible for submitting a request to conduct criminal background screening on an employee to UFHR Recruitment and Staffing.
  • It is expected to conduct and complete criminal background screening prior to employee begin working or gaining access to safety sensitive or confidential information/facilities.
  • If a candidate, volunteers, or contractor begin working or volunteering prior to conducting the appropriate check or receipt of the result, the hiring department shall inform the candidate, volunteer, or contractor that his/her appointment will be contingent upon the results.
  • Employees working for UF BabyGator, UF summer camps, UF afterschool programs, and on Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) funded contracts shall not begin working until UFHR receives clearance from DCF.
  • All background check results will be handled and retained confidentially, and results will only be disclosed in accordance with federal and state statutes.
  • For criminal background screening that falls under Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA), UF will collect credit information on applicants consistent with the FCRA guidelines. In order to obtain a credit history, FCRA requires organizations to obtain a candidate’s written authorization before obtaining a credit history report.  When do this, the employer must:
    1. Certify to the consumer-reporting agency that the employer is in compliance with the FCRA and will not misuse the information it receives,
    2. Disclose to applicant or employee, on a separate form, its plans to obtain a consumer or investigative consumer report and that the information received will be used solely for employment purposes,
    3. Obtain written authorization form the applicant or employee,
    4. Inform the individual of his or her right to request additional information on the nature of the report and the means through which such information may be obtained,
    5. Inform the applicant that the report will include information about the individual’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics, etc.,
    6. Provide the individual with a summary of his or her rights under the FCRA, and
    7. Provide the applicant appropriate pre-adverse and adverse letters if the results of the check are negative and reasonable time (5 days) to contest the information.

Reporting Questions or Violations

The following department is responsible for overseeing implementation of and assuring compliance with this policy. This is who to contact with questions about the policy or to report suspected violations:

UFHR – Recruitment and Staffing
PO Box 115002
Phone: (352) 392-2477 (2HRS)
Fax:    352-846-3058
Email:  HRSBackgrounds@admin.ufl.edu

Enforcement

Failure to comply with this policy could result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination. In appropriate use and dissemination of collected information, especially level 2, may result in criminal charges.


Resources

Related Information

Policy History

Revision Date Author Description
UFHR – Recruitment and Staffing Policy initially adopted