HR-12 Background Verification

In This Section

Purpose
Green River College will conduct pre-employment background verifications on all volunteers and final candidates recommended for temporary, part-time or full-time employment in order to provide a safe and secure environment for the campus community consistent with Washington State law RCW 43.43.815 (Conviction Records Furnished to Employer), RCW 43.43.830-845 (Child and Adult Abuse Information Act), and RCW 10.97 (Criminal Records Privacy Act).

Scope 

  1. All final candidates including faculty (full and adjunct), classified and exempt staff, and hourly nonpermanent (part-time hourly) recommended for employment at Green River College.
  2. All volunteers including student volunteers and student employment candidates who will have regular unsupervised access to children under the age of sixteen, developmentally disabled or vulnerable adults.
  3. Volunteers who have access to personal or sensitive data including dates, addresses, and other personal information as regards to students, employees, and/or community members.
  4. Volunteers who will have access to currency and/or other financial transactions.

Definitions
Conviction: For purposes of this policy, conviction also includes pleas of guilty and Alfred Plea.

Policy 
Background verifications will be conducted by the Office of Human Resources & Legal Affairs (HR) or designee approved by the Vice President of Human Resources
& Legal Affairs for final candidates who have been offered either temporary or full-time employment at Green River and for volunteers and student employees who fall under the scope of this policy. Additionally, background verifications will be conducted on an annual basis for faculty members within programs possessing specific accreditation requirements.

The Vice President of Human Resources & Legal Affairs or designee shall determine what types of background verifications are required for each position. At a minimum,
verification of previous employment and criminal records will be conducted. Other background verifications may include checks of educational degree obtained, license/certification, credit reports, motor vehicle records, and sex and violent offender registries.

All offers of employment and offers to volunteers must clearly state in writing the offer is contingent upon background verifications.

Procedure 
Classified, Exempt and Full-Time Faculty:
Once the Hiring Manager receives his/her Appointing Authority and Vice President of Human Resources & Legal Affairs approval, she/he may extend the employment offer to the selected finalist contingent upon a successful background check. The Hiring Manager will let the finalist know that HR will provide the consent form to complete. The background check process will begin when HR receives the completed form.

Part Time Faculty and Hourly, Work Study Students, and Volunteers:

  • Hiring manager extends employment offer to selected finalist contingent upon a successful background check. The Hiring Manager shall obtain a signed consent form
    from the employee or volunteer. All signed consent forms will be forwarded to the HR to perform the background check.
  • Background verifications are conducted prior to the start of employment. If the background verification cannot be completed prior to the start of employment, an
    offer may be made contingent on the background verification to be completed within 30 days of the start of employment.
  • If a background check does not result in a clear report, it will be forwarded to the Vice President of Human Resources & Legal Affairs.
  • The appointing authority or designee, in consultation with the Vice President of Human Resources & Legal Affairs, may deny or revoke offers of employment/assignment; or reassign, consistent with Washington law. Any material misrepresentation or omission of relevant information during the application process is grounds for denial of employment, termination of employment, and/or termination of any volunteer activity for Green River.
  • Criminal convictions may, but do not automatically, exclude a person for consideration for employment or volunteer opportunity. 

At a minimum, the following reference checks will be conducted:

  • Prior employment reference verification (letters of reference will not be considered for employment verification) completed by hiring manager/committee chair.
  • Any required credential verification completed by HR.
  • Academic credential verification completed by HR, where appropriate.

The following background checks will be conducted:

  • Criminal background checks, in state, national and/or international, as appropriate, will be conducted by HR.
  • Sex offender search

Additional factors include but are not limited to whether the position involves:

  • Regular unsupervised access to children and minors, developmentally disabled or vulnerable adults.
  • Direct access to, or control over, cash, checks, credit cards, and/or credit card account information, or authority to commit financial resources of the College through contracts greater than $300.
  • Responsibility for operating a Green River-owned vehicle or CDL drivers operating Green River-owned vehicles for the purpose of transporting students, employees and others.
  • Control over campus business processes; either through functional roles or system security access.
  • Access to personal identifying information about students, faculty, staff or alumni.
  • Access to controlled substances.
  • Possession of master or sub-master keys for building access.
  • Representing or serving Green River as a licensed or accredited professional.

Use of Background Information
HR will provide notification for background checks as required by law, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Applicants, including volunteer applicants, are required to disclose information needed for conducting background verifications.

Exception
Individuals are not generally required to disclose information regarding criminal records that have been sealed, expunged, or eradicated by a court. All Green River
employees receiving background verification information will use the information in a confidential manner, and will share the information with only those who have a
legitimate Green River or business need. HR will maintain all documentation collected in a secure manner separate from an employee’s official personnel file.


Specific Authority 
RCW 43.43.815RCW 43.43.830-845 and RCW 10.97.

Law Implemented


History of Policy or Procedure

Draft: September 30, 2008
Adopted: June 10, 2010
Revised: December 9, 2015; June 1, 2017
Reviewed by: President’s Staff
Contact: Tammy Shilipetar, HR Recruiter, ext. 2604
President’s Staff Sponsor: Marshall Sampson, Vice President of Human Resources & Legal Affairs, ext. 3315