Procedures and Guidelines for Requesting Background Checks
New Hires (FAQs)
Faculty and Staff in Permanent Positions (including grant-funded and time-limited)
Once a final candidate for a staff position has been identified and before an offer of employment is extended, the hiring supervisor will notify the Employment Manager in the Office of Human Resources (or designee). The Employment Manager will notify the candidate and obtain the candidate’s written consent to conduct a background check by requesting that the candidate complete the vendor consent form. For faculty positions, the Dean’s office should notify The Office of Academic Affairs prior to making a job offer. Academic Affairs will coordinate the background check process with the Employment Manager (or designee).
The Office of Human Resources will initiate the criminal background check and submit the candidate’s authorization form to the background check vendor. The vendor will also check the National Sex Offender and Known Terrorist Registries. Human Resources will initiate the student loan default check for the candidate.
The final offer of employment may be made once the hiring supervisor is notified by the Employment Manager (or designee) that the candidate is eligible for employment.
Temporary Employees (including adjunct faculty)
Once a final candidate has been identified, the hiring supervisor or department representative will obtain the candidate’s written consent to conduct a background check by requesting that the candidate complete the vendor consent form.
The hiring department will forward the consent form to the Office of Human Resources along with the Winthrop University Application for Temporary Employment and Applicant Data Record, or the Winthrop University Application for Faculty/Unclassified Employment and Applicant Data Record.
The Office of Human Resources will submit the background check request to the background check vendor and initiate the student loan default check. The vendor will also check the National Sex Offender and Known Terrorist Registries.
The final offer of employment may be made once the hiring supervisor is notified by Human Resources that the candidate is eligible for employment.
Students and Volunteers Requiring Background Checks
Campus departments will be responsible for initiating the background check process for students and volunteers who will be responsible for the direct care of minors, vulnerable adults, or in positions that are safety and/or security sensitive. This includes, but is not limited to, positions with master key access to offices/facilities, those who are responsible for the direct care of minors, individuals with direct access to cash and/or credit information, those with direct access or responsibility for controlled substances or hazardous material, and those with direct access to or responsibility for protected, personal or other sensitive data.
Campus departments that have a departmental account established with the background check vendor will be responsible for obtaining the written consent form from the individual and forwarding the appropriate/required information to the background check vendor. The vendor will also check the National Sex Offender and Known Terrorist Registries. Campus departments that do not have an established account with the background check vendor should contact the Office of Human Resources for direction on conducting the background check.
Once the background check results have been received, the department will review the results and consult Human Resources if there are convictions or pending charges. If the results are clear, the student/volunteer will be eligible for employment.
Requirement to Self-Report
Current employees and Winthrop University representatives who had a background check at the time of employment or at the beginning of the representatives’ relationship with Winthrop University (whether paid or unpaid) are, within three days of knowledge of a pending offense or conviction, required to notify the Office of Human Resources of any criminal activities with which they are charged, as well as, upon final conviction of a misdemeanor or felony. The Winthrop University Self-Disclosure Form Regarding Pending Offense and Conviction must be completed and submitted to the Office of Human Resources. This includes any pending offenses or convictions that occur either between the date of disclosure for a University run background check and the date work begins, or pending offenses or convictions that occur during the employment or representative relationship. Failure to report such incidents may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. Driving Under the Influence, Driving While Impaired, Driving Under Suspension, or similar criminal activities are not considered to be minor traffic violations and must be reported within three days. Minor traffic citations are not required to be reported. The Self-Disclosure Form Regarding Pending Offense and Conviction can be found on the Human Resources website.
The information provided on the Winthrop University Self-Disclosure Form Regarding Pending Offense and Conviction will be used only if job related and will not necessarily affect employment. The Office of Human Resources will review the information and notify the employee and the employee’s supervisor if employment will be affected.
Periodic Updates or Additional Background Checks
Winthrop University retains the right to conduct relevant background checks of current employees, students, or volunteers when it has reasonable grounds to do so, e.g. no prior check was performed, a workplace incident has occurred, upon self disclosure of criminal activity or upon the University being informed of such activity, update of information due to designation as sensitive/critical position, or upon change of assignment to a position that may require an additional background check.
State or federal law or regulations, professional associations, licensing entities or contracting partners may impose background check requirements upon certain individuals. In these cases, the affected individual and/or department should coordinate the need for such a check with the Office of Human Resources. Under no circumstances should employees conduct, or seek to conduct, a background check without first consulting with and receiving approval from the Office of Human Resources.
Rehired Temporary and Adjunct Faculty
Temporary and adjunct faculty members who are rehired and have a break in service of one year or less will complete the Self-Disclosure Form Regarding Pending Offense and Conviction. If the break in service is more than one year, a new background check will be required before the employee can begin work.
One-day Temporary Employment
Upon approval from the Divisional Vice President, one-day temporary assignments may be waived from the background check process. These may include, but are not limited to, special event speakers and one-day lecturers. The Divisional Vice President must notify the Associate VP of Human Resources if he/she wishes to waive the background check.
Campus Police and Dispatchers
Police Officers and Dispatchers employed in Campus Police are required to undergo a background check conducted through the SC Criminal Justice Academy in order to obtain specific certifications required for employment. The Chief of Police at Winthrop University (or designee) will initiate the background check with the Criminal Justice Academy and will notify the Office of Human Resources in writing of the results. The Criminal Justice Academy determines the eligibility to hire based on the results of the background check.
On rare occasions based on business necessity, a conditional hire may be made to allow an employee, student, or volunteer to begin work or service prior to the receipt of the results of the background check. The employee must be informed that the hire is contingent upon the results of the background check and that if the employee is deemed to be ineligible for employment upon receipt of the results, the employee will be terminated. In addition, the employee, student or volunteer must complete the Winthrop University Self-Disclosure Form Regarding Pending Offense and Conviction and the form must be submitted to the Office of Human Resources before the employee, student, or volunteer may begin work or service.
In some cases when placing students into internship programs with external employers, Winthrop University has, in conjunction with an external agency, established background check procedures that are agreed to by both Winthrop University and the external agency. Pre-established background check procedures in academic areas that place students into internship programs where the student will be in the proximity of minor children or vulnerable adults should include a criminal background check and a sex offender registry check. Academic areas should coordinate with the Office of Human Resources if the information must be obtained from a background check vendor that is governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.