Original Issuance Date: May 4, 2020

Expiration Date: December 31, 2020

1.     Interim Policy Purpose

Widespread public office closures and service reductions due to the COVID-19 public health emergency have impeded the ability of criminal background check vendors to deliver complete background checks within the timeframe normally required for our hiring process.  Regent Policy Document 20-19, University of Wisconsin System Criminal Background Check Policy requires every institution to adopt a criminal background check policy consistent with the requirements of the Regent Policy, with the UW System Office of Human Resources assigned responsibility for reviewing and approving the local policies and ensuring consistency of practice.  This policy establishes a uniform practice for what steps an institution may take when the completion of a full background check is delayed.

2.     Related Policies

This is a new interim administrative policy whose purpose is to offer an implementation framework for the application of Regent Policy Document 20-19 under the special circumstances articulated in this policy and to preserve consistency of practice within the UW System.

3.     Scope

This policy applies to all UW System Institutions, including the central administration (UW System Administration, UW Shared Services, and UW Extended Campus.)

4.     Definitions

None.

5.     Interim Policy Statement

A. Granting of temporary deferment

A temporary deferment under this policy may only be granted when:

  1. A full Criminal Background Check (“CBC”) has been requested from an approved vendor and the CBC has been returned incomplete due to public office closures or service reductions related to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, or;
  2. The institution has been preemptively notified by the approved vendor that a complete Criminal Background Check cannot be provided at this time.
  3. A temporary deferment under this policy may only be granted by the UW System President or the Chancellor of a UW institution, or their authorized designee.

 B. Effect of deferment

  1. If a Criminal Background Check deferment is granted, an individual may commence work at a UW System institution prior to the completion of a full Criminal Background Check.
  2. Until a full Criminal Background Check has been completed, the individual’s appointment remains contingent upon the successful completion of the CBC.
  3. If upon the receipt of a completed Criminal Background Check it is discovered that an individual has a disqualifying criminal record, the individual’s appointment may be withdrawn immediately. A withdrawal of an appointment under this policy is not considered a layoff, furlough, non-renewal, or termination. It is the determination that the individual never possessed a mandatory qualification for the position.

C. Length of deferment

  1. A deferment under this policy may not exceed 3 months.

D. Notice to applicant

  1. If a deferment is granted under this policy, the applicant shall be notified by the institution’s Office of Human Resources.
  2. The notice shall indicate that:
    1. A deferment was granted and the reason it was granted.
    2. The complete criminal background check will still be completed on the individual as soon as possible.
    3. The individual’s employment is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of this background check, and that if the background check reveals a disqualifying criminal record, the individual may have their appointment rescinded without notice.
    4. The Background Check authorization document signed by the individual shall remain in effect until the background check is completed.
    5. The individual may be required to sign additional authorizations as a part of this process, and that a failure to sign such authorizations will result in the individual’s appointment being rescinded.

6.     Supplemental Documents

None.