Policies & Regulations
Human Resources


Pre-Employment Requirements
Number: 4.0080R
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New Regulation

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Major Revision of Existing Regulation

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Minor/Technical Revision of Existing Regulation

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Reaffirmation of Existing Regulation

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Repealed Regulation

Effective Date: 2/1/2006
Revised Date: 6/10/2014
Responsible Division/Department:
Administration & Finance / Human Resources



I. OBJECTIVE & PURPOSE  

In support of the University’s effort to maintain and foster safety and security of students, faculty, and staff, the University requires pre-employment criminal background checks of all prospective faculty; and Administrative & Professional (A&P), Support (USPS) and OPS employees, excluding student employees.  For purposes of this regulation, the term “student employees” refers to any individual at the University whose primary status is that of a student including graduate assistants, graduate teaching assistants and graduate research assistants.  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.

II. STATEMENT OF REGULATION

A.  All prospective non-unit Faculty, Administrative, Support and OPS employees excluding students, will be offered employment contingent upon completion of a successful background check.  The background screenings will check seven (7) years of history for the applicant and will provide the University with critical information to make the best and most informed hiring decisions.  All background checks will be centralized and funded through Human Resources unless otherwise specified by Human Resources. 

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 different types of background checks including fingerprinting  (“level II”) as described by Florida law and/or credit checks depending on the position’s job duties.

Positions of trust include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Persons who receive and process payments made by cash, checks, or debit/credit cards;
2. Persons who perform budgetary, accounting, or other fiscal activities; and
3. Persons with control over operational processes through functional roles or ITS system security access.

There are other positions where Florida law requires employees or volunteers to undergo a fingerprint (“level II”) background check based on the nature of services performed and/or with whom the individual works. These positions include, but are not limited to the following: 

1. Persons who work with vulnerable populations, such as minors, individuals with disabilities or the elderly;
2. Persons working with minors in summer camps; 
3. Persons working in a childcare center;
4. Persons working in a school system/district; and
5. Persons working in the UNF Police Department.

B.  Background Check Process.  The University may collect background information, including credit information for specified positions, on applicants consistent with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  In order to obtain a credit report, FCRA requires organizations, including the University, to obtain a candidate’s written authorization before obtaining a credit report.  When doing this, the University must:

• Certify to the consumer-reporting agency that the employer is in compliance with the FCRA and will not misuse the information it receives.
• Disclose to the 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.
• Obtain written authorization from the applicant or employee.
• 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.
• Inform the applicant that the report will include information about the individual’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics, etc.
• Provide the individual with a summary of his or her rights under the FCRA.
If the results of the background/credit check(s) are negative, the Office of Human Resources will comply with the required FCRA notification, ensuring that the applicant is provided with a Statement of Consumer Rights; provide the opportunity for the individual to review a copy of their background/credit report(s); and advise of their rights to dispute inaccurate information.

C. Background checks may include criminal records (County and State Criminal Felony and Misdemeanor, National Criminal Database, Federal Criminal), national sex offender registry check, social security and name verification. Positions that require operation of a motor vehicle may include a driver’s license/motor vehicle record check.

1. Scope of Background Checks.

Employees who were hired by UNF prior to the implementation of this regulation or did not undergo a UNF pre-employment background check at the time of hire and have a change in status, for example moving from OPS (temporary employment) to USPS or A&P (regular employment) will be provided this change in status contingent upon completion of a successful background check.  Likewise, current employees who are promoted or who are reassigned to a position of trust or other position requiring a background check by law, will be offered the promotion or reassignment status contingent upon completion of a successful background check that is appropriate for the position’s new duties. Persons who are reassigned but do not successfully pass a background check, may be subject to termination of their employment. 

2. When a Background Check will not be Required. 

a. Persons who undergo a UNF pre-employment check and have a change in status, for example from an OPS to USPS or A&P position and maintain continuous employment with UNF, will not have to undergo another background check prior to the change in status unless the new status is considered a “position of trust” as described in section II, A above.  

b. Promotions of faculty from assistant professor to associate professor and associate professor to full professor are not considered a change in status where a background check is required.  Similarly, if an in-unit faculty member is promoted to a faculty administrative position, no background check will be required unless the new status is considered a “position of trust” as described in section II, A above. 

c. If a current employee separates from UNF but resumes employment within less than one (1) year, the person will not have to undergo a pre-employment background check.  

D. The results of each background check will be reviewed with the following considerations and in accordance with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines, to determine whether the records are grounds for denying employment:

1. The nature and gravity of the offense; and
2. The time period that has elapsed since the conviction; and
3. The nature of the job for which the applicant is applying: and
4. Reoccurrence and pattern of criminal behavior; and
5. Truthfulness of the applicant in disclosing the offense(s); and
6. Information supplied by the applicant about the offenses(s).
An unfavorable background check for one position will not prohibit applicants from applying for and being considered for other positions at the University.
E. Information gathered as a part of the background check, other than exempt information by law, is public record. 

NOTE:  As set forth in the Code of Conduct and Ethics, 1.0020P, all faculty and staff are required to report alleged violations of law including arrests by a law enforcement official that could impact the individual’s temporary or continued performance of their job duties. 

References: Florida Board of Governors Regulation 1.001(5) and relevant Collective Bargaining Agreements ; History: NEW 2-1-06; Repealed 6C9-4 Adopted by the University of North Florida Board of Trustees as part of the University’s Personnel Program on January 26, 2006.  Formerly 4.005; Amended and approved by the BOT June 10, 2014.