Pre-Employment Background Checks
In support of the University’s effort to maintain and foster safety and security of students, faculty, and staff, the University requires pre-employment Level 2 criminal background checks, pursuant to the procedure in section 435.04, Florida Statutes. This includes fingerprinting, through a vendor selected by the University, for all prospective faculty and staff including student employees who are hired to perform positions designated as a Position of Trust. In some unique cases volunteers may be required to undergo a successful background check before being permitted to perform services on behalf of the University. Additionally, any current employee who occupies a Position of Trust as defined in this regulation, will be required to successfully undergo a Level 2 background check as a condition of continued employment in such a position.
Level 2 background checks are conducted on all new hires through a third-party vendor, CastleBranch, who will complete the background checks pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). Additionally, any current employee who occupies a Position of Trust is required to complete a level 2 background check as a condition of continued employment in such a position. *New student employees (including Graduate Assistants) are not included in this program unless they are hired to perform a position designated as a position of trust.
The background screenings will check seven years of history for the applicant and will provide the University with critical information to make the best and most informed hiring decisions. For additional information, please review the Background Check policy.
All offers of employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check. Background checks must be completed before the selected applicant begins employment and will be processed as follows:
A&P offers can be extended by Human Resources at the request of the hiring official and will communicate, via written confirmation offer letter, that the offer is contingent upon a successful background check. Human Resources will inform the candidate that they will receive an email from CastleBranch to begin the process of the background check.
A&P offers that are extended by the department hiring official must communicate to the candidate that the offer is contingent upon a successful background check. The official offer letter must also include language that the offer of employment is contingent upon a successful background check. Human Resources must be notified upon offer acceptance and will follow up with a confirmation email to the candidate with further instructions on beginning the background check process.
Human Resources will continue to extend employment offers to USPS candidates and will communicate, via written confirmation offer letter, that the offer is contingent upon a successful background check. Human Resources will inform the candidate that they will receive an email from CastleBranch to begin the process of the background check.
Offers for OPS positions will be extended by the department hiring official who must communicate, in writing, to the candidate that the offer of employment is contingent upon a successful background check and that they will receive an email from CastleBranch to begin the process of the background check. The hiring official must notify Human Resources of the offer acceptance in order for Human Resources to initiate the background check.
Faculty offers that are extended by the department hiring official must communicate to the candidate that the offer of employment is contingent upon a successful background check. The official offer letter must also include language that the offer of employment is contingent upon a successful background check. Human Resources must be notified upon offer acceptance and will follow up with a confirmation email to the candidate with further instructions on beginning the background check process.
Evaluating Pre-Employment Background Checks
A Background Check Committee consisting of individuals from the Office of Human Resources, Academic Affairs and the Office of the General Counsel reviews all background check results and renders a decision whether the applicant should be offered employment.
The Background Check
Committee is as follows:
Carrie Guth – Director, HR Employment
Greg Catron – Director, HR Employee and Labor Relations
Marc Snow – Senior Associate General Counsel
Dan Moon – Associate VP, Academic Affairs Budgets and Personnel
process typically takes approximately 5-7 business days from the candidate’s completion
of the request for information from CastleBranch.
In the event a candidate
is not hired due to background check results that do not meet University standards, Human Resources
will communicate this information to the candidate. Human Resources will
also send Summary of Rights notification that describes the applicant’s rights
under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Background check results that do not meet
University standards will not prohibit the applicant from applying for other
positions at UNF.
Please ensure that all offers of employment and offer letters extended include the language
“all offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a
*Student employees include graduate assistants, graduate teaching assistants
and graduate research assistants. Generally any individual at UNF whose primary status is that of a student
is exempt from the background check process.
**Determination of the
type of background checks to be conducted will be made by Human Resources in
conjunction with the hiring department. For example, positions designated
as "positions of trust" may require level 2 background checks
including fingerprinting as described by Florida law and/or credit checks
depending on the position's job duties.
Request for Reconsideration of Background Check Decision
The decision to not hire an
applicant based on the results of a pre-employment background check can be
challenged by the applicant or by the divisional vice president. If an applicant desires to challenge the results of a background check,
they should contact Greg Catron, the Director of Employee and Labor
Relations, and indicate why the background check results are inaccurate or
should not preclude the applicant from being considered for
The divisional vice president
over the area where the applicant has sought employment may appeal the
Background Check Committee’s decision to the University President.The University President will
make the final decision whether to offer the applicant employment.
As with applicants, the
Background Check Committee will review the results of the background check
report and determine whether the employee is eligible to occupy a
Position of Trust. The divisional vice president
over the area where the applicant has sought employment may appeal the
Background Check Committee’s decision to the University President. The University President will make
the final decision whether to offer the applicant employment.
If the employee disagrees with
the University President’s decision, they can contest the employment
decision through the applicable grievance procedures based on the
employee’s status. Any decision reached through
grievance proceedings will be final.
Frequently Asked Questions
UNF is committed to maintaining and fostering safety and security of
students, faculty and staff. As part of
the effort to create a safe work and study environment, UNF requires that a
background check be conducted on prospective employees as a condition of
All prospective UNF employees classified as Adjunct, Administrative (A&P), Faculty, Other Personnel Services (OPS), and Support (USPS) are required to submit to a Level 2 background check which includes fingerprinting.
Volunteers and Students are
generally exempt from background checks unless special conditions apply.
Current employees are required to report any conviction that occurs
during their employment with UNF. Generally,
a background check may only be conducted on current employees if required by
law or if there is a reasonable belief that the employee has been convicted of
a crime and has not reported it to Human Resources.
If a current employee is
offered a position designated as a “position of trust” or an OPS employee is promoted or reassigned to a budgeted position and not previously checked, a background check
will be conducted.
Background checks are conducted by a third-party provider that offers a
web-based application that ensures data integrity and confidentiality of
personal information. Results are
reviewed and adjudicated by a designated Background Check Review Committee.
Individual results will be reviewed on
a case by case basis. The following will be considerations:
The nature and gravity of the offense; and
The time period that has elapsed since the conviction; and
The nature of the job for which the applicant is applying: and
Reoccurrence and pattern of criminal behavior; and
Truthfulness of the applicant in disclosing the offense(s); and
Information supplied by the applicant about the offense(s).
Potentially disqualifying criminal records based on position
Yes. Also, the background
checks are conducted through a web-based application by a third-party provider.
This service allows applicants to order their own background checks and fingerprints
online. Information collected through the
provider is secure, tamper-proof and confidential. The results will be posted
on the provider website where the applicant can login to view them confidentiality.
The department hiring official is to notify Human Resources of the selected candidate’s legal name, email address and location (in-state or out-of-state). The candidate is notified that the offer is contingent upon
successful completion of a background check.
Human Resources initiates the background check process. The candidate will receive and email directly from the third-party provider with instructions on how to start the background check process.
The applicant should complete the information as soon as he/she receives
the request. A reminder will be sent
three calendar days from receipt of the initial email invitation if the
candidate has not provided the information.
Human Resources will contact the department hiring official to
discuss proceeding with candidate.
The department hiring official must notify Human Resources of the candidate’s legal name, email address, and location (in-state vs. out-of-state, including state) after offer acceptance, in order for Human Resources to initiate the background check process.
A background check will be conducted.
A background check will be conducted if there has been a break in
service of more than one year.
Background checks are not conducted on student candidates for
A background check will be conducted,
if not previously conducted within the last year.
The employee must be notified in writing that the offer of employment is contingent upon successful completion of a background check. The hiring department should request an exception for an employee to begin working prior to the completion of a background check by contacted Human Resources and providing an explanation of the extraordinary circumstances. The background check process must be
initiated as quickly as possible in such situations.
Yes. However before producing results, any personally identifiable
information that is exempt from the public record laws would be redacted.
Positions of trust include, but are not limited to:
Persons who receive and process payments made by cash, checks, or debit/credit cards;
Persons who perform budgetary, accounting, or other fiscal activities; and
Persons with control over operational processes through functional roles or ITS system security access.
National, state, county & federal criminal history (past seven
years), sexual offender history and social security number verification, which
is our Standard Criminal Background Check.
Checks of credit history and/or driving record will be required for
positions having fiduciary or driving responsibilities. Pre-employment drug screening and/or credit checks may be required
for certain positions.
Criminal Records Search reports felony, misdemeanor, and pending charges in
specific counties. The standard background check scope is 7 years due to FCRA
regulations; however, convictions older than seven years provided by the county
will be indicated on the background screening report.
A Statewide Criminal Records Search includes information from all of the counties within a particular state.
Investigating criminal records outside the county of residence is very
important as these records may go undetected when a Statewide Criminal Records
search is omitted.
A Nationwide Database Search scans a
collection of criminal records purchased from courts, corrections departments,
and state agencies. This search is essential supplemental searches as it
captures criminal records for applicants in states or counties in which they
may have never lived, but have criminal records.
The Nationwide Criminal Database Search is comprised of more than 150 million
records, including 43 state databases and the District of Columbia. Each state
provides information from at least one of the following: county courts, state
corrections, or the state sexual offender list. The database also includes a
Foreign Nationals search, providing information on individuals and entities
that have been sanctioned by the U.S. Government.
The Nationwide Criminal Database Search also includes the Nationwide Sexual Offender Index Search from all 50
states. Federal charges typically
encompass severe crimes such as drug violations, the illegal sale of firearms,
embezzlement, pornographic exploitation of children, and crimes that take place
on federal property. Federal crimes do not appear in statewide or county
criminal searches but are available nationally or by state and include pending
cases as well as convictions.
information is submitted to the FDLE, which shall perform a criminal history
record check of its records and request that the Federal Bureau of
Investigation perform a national criminal history record check of its records.