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Background Check Policy

Ramapo College of New Jersey seeks to provide a safe and collegial environment conducive to academic and administrative pursuits. To accomplish this, the College conducts a series of background checks for prospective new hires. The policy is applicable to all full-time, part-time or temporary faculty, staff and volunteer positions. Background information that is falsely reported may be cause for withdrawal of an offer of employment and/or cause for termination of employment. The type of background check performed is dependent on the position.

Reference Checks and Criminal Background Checks

Reference checks and criminal background checks will be conducted for all new hires of regular, full-time and part-time or temporary faculty and staff in “lines” and for other hires within the discretion of the College.

Degree Verification

Highest degree status will be verified in each case when a degree is a requirement of the job. Degree status published in College publications will also be verified.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

Drug and alcohol testing is required for all positions in Facilities and Public Safety, Admissions Counselors, Coaches as well as any positions where duties and responsibilities include driving.

Physical

A medical examination is required for all positions in Facilities and Public Safety.

Driver’s License

Driver’s license checks are required for all positions in Facilities and Public Safety, Admissions Counselors, Coaches, as well as any positions where duties and responsibilities include driving. This check is done at the time of hire.

Fitness for Duty

The College, at its discretion, may require employees to be medically evaluated by a doctor of the College’s choice to determine whether an individual is capable of performing the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation.

Procedures for Background Checks
  1. The Department of Human Resources is responsible for initiating or overseeing the appropriate background check and/or testing. Search Committee chairs will be responsible for reference checks in the case of unclassified staff.
  2. All candidates for employment must complete and sign an employment application, which informs applicants that they are subject to a criminal background and/or driver’s license and vehicle records check. The candidate’s signature authorizes the College to investigate all statements made on the application and authorizes educational institutions, employers and others to respond to questions concerning information contained in the application.
  3. All new hires must complete a “Background Investigation General Release Form” (PDF) and receive a copy of “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” (PDF).
  4. Conditional job offers may be extended pending the satisfactory results of all relevant checks. New hire letters will include language that employment is contingent upon applicable background checks.
  5. If a criminal history has been reported by the applicant, and the background check is affirmative, the Department of Human Resources will consult with the Attorney General’s office and, except where employment is expressly prohibited by law, each case will be reviewed and factors will be considered such as, but not limited to, the nature and age of the crime reported, the position sought and duties, rehabilitation, the candidate’s employment history, and references.
  6. Prior to taking any adverse employment action based on information contained in a criminal history check, HR will provide the employee or candidate a copy of the report and a notice summarizing the individual’s rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. A reasonable opportunity to submit information to HR disputing the accuracy or completeness of the report before a final decision is made will be permitted.
  7. If the College is informed of an address discrepancy, sometimes referred to as a “Red Flag” notice, by a credit reporting agency (CRA) or background check vendor HR will contact the applicant/employee to confirm the address, inform them of the issue and communicate the findings to the CRA or vendor.
  8. Data collected from any of these background checks or tests will be kept as confidential as possible, and not accessible to supervisors and others who might otherwise have access to an individual’s personnel records.
  9. No adverse employment action will be taken without consultation between and among HR, Employee Consulting Associates (the College’s employee assistance vendor), another relevant professional, and the Deputy Attorney General, depending on the nature of the facts.

Dec. 2008

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