Background Check Policy
In an effort to ensure a safer learning, living and working environment, Meredith College conducts pre-employment criminal background checks for all offers of employment. Background checks may also be required for current employees and student-workers whose jobs are defined as “security sensitive” (see definition below).
A satisfactory background check is defined as the absence of a criminal history record which bears a significant relationship to the applicant’s or employee’s suitability to perform the required duties and responsibilities of the position. This will include reports from federal, state and county sources that maintain public and non-public records.
Applicants/Employees Subject to Background Checks:
Applicants and employees subject to pre-employment and concurrent with employment background checks include the following:
- Selectees for faculty and staff positions (includes adjunct and part-time) beginning employment on or after February 22, 2007 (all offers of employment are contingent upon a background check approval);
- All current and future employees in security-sensitive positions, including part-time working less than 20 hours per week, temporary, student workers, and casual labor;
- Employees who are returning to employment after more than a twelve-month break in service; and
- Employees who are changing status from temporary to regular employment.
Security Sensitive Positions:
The President and Vice Presidents are responsible for determining which positions in their areas are designated as security-sensitive based on the responsibilities of each position. The criteria to be considered include, but are not limited to:
- Employees who are directly responsible for the oversight, care, and safety of students away from campus, including providing transportation.
- Employees who work with children (autism program, infant/toddler center, fee-based music and children’s choirs, summer camps, etc.).
- Employees who have access to cash, securities, bank records, etc.
- Employees allowed access to residence halls under the College’s policy regarding access to residence halls, is considered a security sensitive employee.
The President is the final authority on which positions are considered security sensitive.
When a job offer is made, it shall be reiterated to the final candidate that the offer of employment is contingent upon successful completion of the background check (e.g., “Successful completion of a background check is required for employment. If the results of the background check are not satisfactory, this offer of employment is rescinded.”) The finalist will be required to complete the background check authorization. Under no circumstances may a candidate begin employment prior to the supervisor being notified that the background check results are satisfactory.
Generally only criminal convictions, guilty pleas, pleas of no contest and deferred adjudication will be considered in determining an applicant’s suitability for employment. Detention or arrest without conviction typically does not constitute valid grounds for employment decisions or play a part in the decision-making process. In determining an applicant’s suitability for employment where the applicant has criminal convictions on his/her record, consideration will be given to the specific duties and responsibilities of the position, the number of offenses and circumstances of each, the length of time and the rehabilitation efforts since the conviction(s). Applicants who submit false information on employment application materials will not be hired.
If the results of a background check for a current employee reveals adverse information that has a significant relationship to the employee’s suitability to perform the job duties, his/her employment may be terminated. A current employee may also be terminated for refusing to submit to a criminal background check. If it is determined a current employee falsified employment application materials, his/her employment may be terminated.
Driving Record Background Checks:
A driving record background check is required for any employee who operates a Meredith vehicle or transports students. The employee must sign an authorization form before the check can be run. In addition, if the employee is operating a Meredith van or bus, he/she must complete the required training program through Campus Police.
Dispute of Information:
If a candidate or current employee disputes the accuracy of any information obtained in a background check, he/she will be referred to the agency that provided the information. A candidate or current employee disputing the accuracy of information will have three (3) business days to conclusively demonstrate the inaccuracy of the information obtained in a background check, after which time an employment decision may be made.
Information included in both the authorization and the results must be treated as confidential.
Subsequent Criminal Convictions:
In the event that an employee subject to this policy receives a criminal conviction after successful completion of the initial background check, that employee must inform the Office of Human Resources to determine whether or not the conviction is relevant to his/her job under this policy. If the conviction is not relevant, no adverse action will be taken. If the conviction is relevant and it is determined that the employee is no longer suitable to perform the required duties and responsibilities of the position, employment may be terminated or the employee may resign. Failing to report a criminal conviction, regardless of the nature, may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
The President has the final authority to determine suitability for employment or action required relating to a current employee.