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Background Checks and Criminal Convictions

University of Central Missouri Procedure

Procedure Name:  Background Checks and Criminal Convictions

Date Approved:  Approved by the President on January 8, 2016

Procedure Category:  Employment

Date EffectiveJanuary 8, 2016

Policy Authority Board of Governors Policy 1.2.040

Date Last Revised:  

Approval Authority:  University President

Review Cycle:

Responsible Member: Director of Human Resources



I. Purpose

To protect and ensure the integrity of the University of Central Missouri (UCM) by requiring background checks for prospective employees and current employees being transferred to certain positions. All background checks for UCM applicants and employees shall be applied and administered uniformly, fairly and without prejudice.

The following is intended to support the verification of credentials, criminal history, financial credit status and other information related to employment decisions that assist UCM in meeting its commitments. The Office of Human Resources will maintain operational procedures for conducting background checks.

II. Summary

From the effective date of this policy and going forward, the final candidate for a University position, both Academic and Administrative, Exempt and Non Exempt, is required to pass a background check prior to beginning the duties of the position. Current employees of the University as of the effective date of this policy will not be subject to a background check, except in situations involving a transfer to a new position necessitating a driving record check or credit check in accordance with the standards in Section III, below. 

The University will use information obtained through a background check to determine the individual’s ability to perform the functions of the job, for the safety and well-being of others in the University community and visitors to campus, and, in the case of credit checks, whether the individual has a consistent history of failing to manage finances and financial obligations.  Background check information will be used only for the purpose of evaluating applicants for employment (and when current employees transfer to certain positions within the University) and shall in no way be used to discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy or parental status, national origin, veteran status, genetic information, disability, and all other legally protected classes. 

Negative information on a background check will not automatically result in adverse action. In such situations, an individualized assessment of all relevant factors, including the job responsibilities of the position, will be undertaken by the University to determine whether the negative information precludes the individual from employment or transfer. Negative information on a background check that is relevant and job-related is grounds for non-selection of the candidate or not being permitted to transfer to the new position.

III. Scope

This background check may include, but not be limited to, criminal history, verifications of employment and education, driving records, and credit history. The scope of background checks related to employment at the University is as follows:

  1. A final candidate for a position will be subject to the following:
    • A criminal background check to determine convictions and guilty pleas at the county and federal levels in every jurisdiction where the prospective employee currently resides, has resided, or has been employed.
      • Convictions and guilty pleas include all felonies and misdemeanors but do not include minor, non-criminal driving-related citations or violations.
    • A driving record check to determine conviction and guilty pleas, but only if the final candidate will be driving an automobile on behalf of the University on a regular basis. 
      • With driving records, convictions and guilty pleas include all felonies and misdemeanors, and the University will also consider any other driving-related citations or violations.
    • A credit check, but only if the Office of Human Resources determines that the final candidate’s principle employment duties are fiduciary; or if he or she will have a significant management responsibility over the University as a whole; or if he or she will manage a discrete segment of the activities, assets, income, or expenses of the University or will share responsibility for controlling or determining the University’s expenditure or budget.
      • Fiduciary responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the duty to: handle, receive, or have custody of money, checks or securities; authority (or make appropriations for) expenditure; approve, certify, or sign checks; maintain or audit accounts of money, checks, or securities; or take physical inventories of money, checks, or securities. 
  2. Prospective employees will also be subject to a check of the Missouri Sex Offender Registry. The University reserves the right to check other jurisdictions as well.
  3. Post-employment checks: As noted above, a current employee may be subject to a driving record check or credit check when being transferred to a new position necessitating such a check.  The University may also periodically check:
    • The driving record of individuals who are driving vehicles on official University business on a regular basis.
    • The Missouri Sex Offender Registry, as well as other jurisdictions, as it deems appropriate.

IV. Additional Matters

Falsification:  Falsification of application materials, including failure to disclose criminal convictions or guilty pleas, is grounds for termination of employment or non-selection of an applicant. 

Notification of Subsequent Offense:  Applicants for employment who plead guilty to or are convicted of a criminal violation after they have applied should contact the Office of Human Resources within five (5) days of the conviction or guilty plea. Applicants who are awarded employment with UCM without giving notice of their plea of guilty or conviction of a criminal violation prior to their date of hire shall be immediately terminated. 

Individuals who are currently employed with the University must notify their supervisor and the Office of Human Resources within five (5) days of a conviction or guilty plea to a criminal violation. Failure to report a conviction or guilty plea is grounds for discipline up to and including termination of employment. Supervisors shall contact the Office of Human Resources immediately upon being informed of any such conviction or guilty plea.

In addition, employees who drive a vehicle on official University business must notify their supervisor and the Office of Human Resources if their driving privileges are suspended or revoked. Notice must be given to the University on or before the business day following the suspension or revocation of driving privileges. At no time shall employees drive on official University business if their license has been suspended or revoked. 


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