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Jack McEnery, Ph.D., Director HR Shared Services
The University of Illinois new policy on Background Checks is scheduled to go into effect October 5, 2015 on the Chicago campus as directed by the Board of Trustees. The policy itself can be viewed on NESSIE at: http://www.trustees.uillinois.edu/trustees/agenda/January-21-2016/001-jan-Background-check-policy-final.pdf. This is a summary of the major features of the policy and the steps UIC has been taking for implementation.
Covered Employee Groups - Expanded from the current inclusion of all "Security Sensitive" and all positions within the University of Illinois Hospital, to now require all Academic Professional, Civil Service, Extra Help, Faculty, Hourly, Residents, and Post-Doctoral Research Associates to undergo a Criminal Background Check prior to beginning work at the University. For other employee groups a Criminal Background Check is required if the position is identified as Security Sensitive or subject to the University Protection of Minors policy.
Current Employees - Any current employee moving into a classification in the Covered Employee Groups, who has not undergone a Background Check for Criminal Convictions in the last two years, will be required to satisfactorily complete this check prior to beginning work in the new classification. The University of Illinois Hospital requires Criminal Background Checks for all UIC employees transferring into the Hospital regardless of when the last check was completed. The University sent a communication to all employees in mid-September about the new Background Check policy which can be read at this link http://illinois.edu/emailer/newsletter/79477.html
Types of Background Checks – While the focus of the new policy is on Criminal Background checks there may be any or all of the following checks required based upon the classification: Education Verification, Employment Verification, Health Clearance, License, References and Sanctions Check. Please note that arrest records are not part of our Background Check process. Criminal Convictions/Sanctions Checks and Academic Professional Education Verification will be conducted by our third party provider, while other checks will be conducted and documented by the appropriate hiring authority.
Offer of Employment – All offers of employment are required to include the language in the offer letter of "This offer is contingent upon the successful completion of a criminal background check". The offer of employment must be preceded by completion of the Conditional Hire Form https://www.hr.uic.edu/hiring/backgroundcheck/. Unless signed by the individual, the offer is not to be made. The Conditional Hire Form enables a rescinding of the offer should the Background Check find a history which is considered unsafe for the University.
Request Background Check – You may choose to conduct the Background Check prior to making the offer in particular when you have more than one final candidate you are considering. (Keep in mind that while Background Checks are typically completed within 7 business days sometimes a longer time frame occurs.) We are in the final stages of making changes in HireTouch so that you can initiate the Background Check there. We anticipate that this will be complete by early December 2015, and training will be provided to the campus in early November 2015. Meanwhile, and for situations where the hiring is not accomplished through HireTouch, you are to use the Authorization form and the Disclosure form located at this link https://www.hr.uic.edu/hiring/backgroundcheck/. The Authorization form and the Disclosure form are two separate forms which you must provide to the applicant. Do not combine these forms by copying into one document or on front and back of same page. If the applicant is from the state of California, please note the alternate forms to provide to them. The applicant is to sign and return the Authorization form and is to keep the Disclosure form. In addition, the hiring unit is to complete the Background Check Demographic form https://www.hr.uic.edu/hiring/backgroundcheck/. Forward the forms (Authorization and Demographic) to the location on the bottom right hand corner of the Background Check Demographic form.
Results of the Check – When the Criminal Background Check is complete and there are no misdemeanor or felony convictions identified, the hiring department is informed to proceed with their next step on the applicant. Please note that the official clearance from the HR Service Center and the Conditional Hire form must be attached to the HR Front End transaction for hires and respective job changes. Should there exist a conviction in the applicant’s record the applicant is informed as to the process for correcting any incorrect records as well as how to demonstrate their suitability to perform the job even with a criminal history. In a future communication more information will be provided regarding: appeal procedures for applicants with criminal convictions; how criminal convictions are discussed with the hiring department; considering job alternatives for a candidate who has criminal convictions; when conviction history requires escalation to the Chancellor/Vice Chancellor level; and protection of the applicant’s confidentiality.
If you have any questions about the policy or process, please contact Odell Richmond firstname.lastname@example.org at 312-996-6356 or Jack McEnery email@example.com at 312-996-3581.
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