Full-time faculty, administrative/professional and support employees
Effective: June 1, 2007, Revised January 2012
The purpose of this procedure is to identify the rationale and elements of the process the University will use to verify the background and qualifications of a candidate for employment at Duquesne University.
The reasons for this procedure are many but first and foremost are the need to ensure that individuals who join the University fully support the mission of the University, are qualified for their positions, have the potential to be productive and have fairly presented their qualifications on the employment application. Second, the potential liability for “negligent hiring” claims in today’s society is significant and must be addressed in a consistent University wide fashion. Third, the potential loss of public support or image due to problems encountered in this area and finally the increased pressure from insurance carriers to move our hiring processes in this direction to minimize the overall risks associated with the results of ineffective hiring.
Duquesne University is Catholic in mission and ecumenical in spirit. Motivated by its Catholic identity, Duquesne values equality of opportunity both as an educational institution and as an employer. Duquesne believes that hiring qualified individuals to positions contributes to the University’s overall strategic success. Background checks serve as an important part of the search and selection process.
This procedure applies to all new hires as full-time faculty, administration and staff employed by the University after the effective date. Students who hold full-time positions at the University must undergo the same prescreening process. The procedure does not apply to part time employees.
It is the procedure of the University that all new fulltime employees must undergo a pre-employment screening process that has certain minimum elements and additional aspects depending on the nature of the duties involved.
The minimum elements that will apply to all new hires are:
Background checks of criminal convictions (felony and misdemeanors);
Education verification (to verify degree(s) earned from accredited institution); and
Reference checks [this should continue to be done prior to an offer of employment by the hiring department in consultation with Human Resources].
As appropriate to the specific job, additional requirements may include:
Motor vehicle record verification;
Drug tests (as currently applied) and
Credit record check;
In order to assure a consistent and effective application of this procedure, the process of conducting the background checks will be managed by the Office of Human Resource Management. Any exceptions to this procedure must be approved by the Divisional Vice President for the function in which the potential employee would be employed with the advice of the Director of Human Resources Management.
The Contingent Offer of Employment:
The Office of Human Resource Management and the Hiring Department shall work together to identify a candidate for hire. Once a candidate has been identified for hire, an offer of employment shall be extended by the hiring department to the candidate, specifically indicating that the offer is contingent upon the successful completion of appropriate pre-employment screening. Once a verbal commitment of employment is secured, the hiring department shall distribute to the candidate the appropriate background information release form(s), and work with the Office of Human Resource Management to schedule/coordinate the appropriate testing.
All background checks [other than reference checks] are conducted after an offer of employment has been extended (contingent offer). The appropriate release form(s) must be signed by the candidate and delivered to the Office of Human Resource Management before the start of an investigation/test. Accordingly, in order to initiate the pre-employment screening process, the Office of Human Resource Management must have the following documents:
• Candidate’s Completed and Signed Employment Application;
• Candidate’s Signed Release for Background Investigation Form(s)
A conviction, if disclosed on the Employment Application, will not necessarily bar a candidate from employment.
Process to Verify Information:
Commencement of employment will be contingent upon the results of the screening process. All pre-employment screening must be completed and the results verified before the candidate begins to work. Accordingly, based on the investigation/test results, the Office of Human Resource Management will notify the hiring department of the candidate’s ability or inability to commence employment. At no time should a candidate begin to work until the Office of Human Resource Management has verified results of the candidate’s pre-employment screening.
The Office of Human Resource Management will review the results of the background investigation in relation to the position under consideration. All known factors regarding the candidate will be considered. Any misrepresentation of facts noted on the University Employment Application may be cause for dismissal or refusal to employ. If the decision requires additional review, the Director of Human Resources will consult with the Divisional Vice President and University General Counsel (as appropriate).
Duquesne University will ensure that all background checks are held in confidence and in compliance with applicable federal and state statutes, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
The University reserves the right to make sole determination concerning information or any employment decision arising out of the background check.
The University requires all contractors who routinely perform work on campus to be in compliance with this procedure. This procedure also applies to all full-time temporary positions.