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Criminal History Review

No applicant can be excluded from hire simply because he or she has a criminal history. It is important to consider criminal history on a case by case basis, taking into account the following:

The sections below explain how Human Resources will review criminal history and determine relevance.

Is the Conviction Relevant to the Position?

The following types of convictions are generally relevant to any position at the university:

Although a conviction in one of these categories is generally relevant, a conviction of this type may not exclude the applicant. Other factors, as listed above, must be considered, particularly severity of the offense and the length of time since the conviction. 

Relevance to a Specific Position

A conviction that is not within one of the five categories above could be relevant to a particular job. For example, a drug or alcohol related conviction is more likely to be relevant when the job requires driving or contact with minors. See the chart below Additional Offenses That May Be Relevant for more examples. The hiring department should notify Human Resources, Records by email when there are additional offense types for HR to review.

How Recent Is the Conviction?

In general, you should consider convictions and deferred adjudications that fall within this timeframe:

Again, it is important to remember that these are general guidelines. The timeframe, number, and types of convictions that you consider relevant should be determined by the nature of the position for which the individual is applying.

EEOC Guidelines

For more information on considering conviction information, see the EEOC publication Guidance on Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions. The EEOC has determined that improper use of conviction information in hiring decisions can violate Title VII’s disparate treatment and disparate impact theories. It is critical for hiring departments to consider conviction information in a fair and consistent manner.

Type of Offense and Recommended Action

This chart notes the severity of offenses and how long after conviction they are generally considered relevant. Offenses are generally relevant if the offense occurred within the time period indicated. The chart Additional Offenses That May Be Relevant (below) lists additional conviction types that are likely to be relevant if the position has certain job requirements.

Offense Time Recommended Action
Felony Within 7 years

Do not hire

If the felony is relevant to positionfor which applicant is being considered.

Categories that are relevant to most positions include: 

  • Theft related
  • Drug related
  • Injury to person(s)
  • Weapons
  • Threats
  • Injury to property
Misdemeanor Within 3 years

Do not hire

If the misdemeanor is relevant to position for which applicant is being considered.

Categories that are relevant to most positions include: 

  • Theft related
  • Injury to person(s)
  • Weapons
  • Threats
  • Injury to property
Pending or Deferred Adjudications
(i.e., the final disposition is still pending or the original charge has not been dismissed)
 

Do not Hire

If the offense is relevant to position for which applicant is being considered.

Categories that are relevant to most positions include:

  • Theft related
  • Injury to person(s)
  • Weapons
  • Threats
  • Injury to property

Additional Offenses That May Be Relevant

Job Requirements Relevant Offense
Equipment Operation (i.e., driving, operation of heavy equipment)   
  • Drug Related
  • Alcohol Related
  • Criminal Traffic Offenses (DWI, DUI)
Handling Chemicals/Pathogens/Controlled Substances
  • Crimes against the U.S. Government
  • Environment related
  • Drug Related
Transportation/Shipping
  • Smuggling
  • Crimes against the U.S. Government
Financial (i.e., Cash/Purchasing/Grants/Contracts/Storeroom/Accounting)
  • Smuggling
  • Gambling
Contact with Minors (i.e., Elementary Teachers, Child Care Workers, Camp Counselors)
  • Drug Related
  • Alcohol Related
  • Criminal Traffic Offenses (DWI, DUI)
Security Clearance
  • Smuggling
  • Crimes Against the US Government
  • Gambling
  • Obstructing Justice

Non-Hire Decisions

Human Resources will obtain an official report of the person’s criminal history and determine whether there are convictions which would normally exclude the person from being hired into the position. If there are no relevant convictions, HR will notify you by email that the individual is clear to hire. Contact Records and Onboarding immediately if you receive notice that the applicant is clear for hire, but the applicant has disclosed convictions which you believe should be considered relevant.

If HR determines that there are relevant convictions, a Records and Onboarding representative will contact the appropriate representative of the hiring department to discuss the non-hire decision.

Hiring Department Review

The hiring department should review any criminal history information that the applicant has disclosed and consider whether any convictions are relevant to the job duties of the position. This step is important whether Human Resources indicates the person is clear to hire or not recommended for hire. The hiring department has a fuller understanding of the job duties of the position and may therefore be more capable to determine the relevance of a certain conviction. In addition, through its contact with the finalist, the hiring department may know of mitigating or extenuating circumstances.

Contact your Strategic Workforce Solutions partner if you have questions or need assistance with determining relevance to job duties.  

Notice to Applicant

Once it has been determined that the applicant has convictions which are relevant to the position, Records and Onboarding will notify the applicant in writing. The notice gives the applicant an opportunity to correct errors in the criminal history record or provide additional information. The applicant has up to five business days from the date of the letter to provide additional information.

Recruiting Hold

The hiring department is asked not to offer the position to another finalist until the five day period has expired. You will be notified immediately if the applicant indicates that he or she will not request a review. You may be able to proceed with the hiring process sooner than five days, if a review decision has been made or if the applicant indicates that there is no need for review.

While this is clearly an inconvenience to the hiring department, the applicant must be given a chance to provide correction or additional information and be returned to consideration for the position if the conviction information was incorrect or not relevant.

Rescinding an Offer of Employment

The finalist should not begin work before the background check results are received. It is recommended that you wait for the results of all required background check(s) before making an offer of employment. If you do make the offer, it is important to be clear that the offer is contingent upon the results of the background check. If the person has already started work when you receive a non-hire recommendation from HR, please contact your Strategic Workforce Solutions partner immediately.