Background Check Policy

Pre-Employment Background Screening Policy

Application of Policy

This policy applies to all employees of Wentworth Institute of Technology (hereafter referred to as “Wentworth.”)

A. Purpose

  1. It is important that Wentworth’s academic mission is supported by qualified employees, with a safe and secure environment for all its constituents, including students, visitors and employees.  It is also important that Wentworth take meaningful actions to protect its funds, property and other assets.
  2. This policy is intended to support the verification of credentials, criminal history, credit status and/or other information related to employment decisions that assist Wentworth in meeting its commitments.

B. Statement of General Policy

  1. It is the policy of Wentworth that all new employees have certain credentials and their criminal and other background information verified as a condition of employment.
  2. It is the policy of Wentworth that specified current employees with fiscal management responsibility also have their credit and tax payment information verified periodically as a condition of continued employment.

C. Definitions

  1. "Credit history check" means checking the credit history of the selected applicant or employee.  (Federal laws prohibit discrimination against an applicant or employee as a result of bankruptcy.)
  2. "Criminal history check" means verifying the selected applicant or employee’s criminal history in every jurisdiction where the applicant or employee currently resides or has resided.
  3. "Educational verification" means ensuring the selected applicant or employee possesses all educational credentials beyond high school listed on the application, resume or cover letter or otherwise cited by the candidate 
  4. "Employee" is defined as any person employed by Wentworth whether full or part-time.
  5. "Employment verification" means ensuring the selected applicant or employee worked in the positions listed on the application, resume, or cover letter or otherwise cited by the candidate, as well as all employment during a period of at least seven (7) years immediately preceding application at Wentworth.  
  6. "License verification" means ensuring the selected applicant or employee possesses all the licenses listed on the application, resume or cover letter or otherwise cited by the candidate and verification of any license required for the position, including verification of the disposition of such licenses.  This includes any professional, craft, or motor vehicle licenses required for the associated position.
  7. "Limited criminal history check" means verifying that the selected applicant or employee’s criminal history in the jurisdiction where the applicant or employee currently resides, and where the applicant or employee last resided, if the applicant or employee moved within ___ years.
  8. "Limited sex and violent offender registry check" means verifying the selected applicant or employee’s convictions of certain sex and violent crimes in the jurisdiction where the applicant or employee currently resides and where the applicant or employee last resided, if the applicant or employee moved within __ years.
  9. "Sex and violent offender registry check" means verifying the selected applicant or employee’s convictions of certain sex and violent crimes in every jurisdiction where the applicant or employee currently resides or has resided.

D. Policy Provisions

  1. New Employees
    1. All new employees shall have one or more of the following background checks (depending on the position) completed as a condition of employment with Wentworth.  For each of the background checks identified in this paragraph, Human Resources (or a contractor) will perform the background check.
      1. Employment verification.
      2. Educational verification.
      3. License verification.
      4. Criminal history check
      5. Sex and violent offender registry check
    2. Foreign nationals, in addition to the background checks set forth in paragraph a. will also be subject to the background checks:

i. A criminal history check in the individual’s prior countries of residence if the individual’s visa and/or authorization to work in the United States was issued before implementation of the Patriot Act on October 24, 2001.  .

  1. All new employees holding the positions of President, Vice President, Associate Vice President, Dean, Athletics Director, and other positions as requested by Human Resources will have the additional background checks:
    1. Credit history check.
    2. Tax payment check
  2. If Wentworth has performed any of the above background checks on an individual within the past year, a new verification or history check of that specific category will not be required.  The results of the previously performed background checks will be considered in any pending employment decision.

E. Responsibilities

  1. Human Resources Responsibilities:
    1. Human Resources will determine which of the components of the background check that it will perform and which will be performed by a contractor.
    2. All written offers of employment shall include the following statement: "This offer is contingent on Wentworth’s verification of credentials and other information required by state law and Wentworth’s policies, including the completion of a criminal history check."
    3. Employment verification – Human Resources will attempt to complete this verification before an offer of employment to any individual but in all cases this verification shall be completed within 30 days of the offer of employment.
    4. Educational and License verifications – Human Resources will attempt to complete this verification before an offer of employment to any individual; but in all cases these verifications shall be completed within 30 days of the offer of employment.
    5. Criminal history check (standard or limited) and sex and violent offender registry check (standard or limited) – these background checks shall be initiated after acceptance of the conditional offer of employment.
      1. The individual's official name, date of birth and social security number will be obtained from the person and provided to a contractor.
    6. If the criminal history check indicates that there are no convictions, the contractor will inform Human Resources and the employment offer is confirmed.
    7. If the criminal history check indicates there are convictions, the contractor will inform Human Resources.  Human Resources will provide a copy of the report to the individual.  All related information will be treated as confidential.
    8. If the criminal history check reveals convictions which the individual disclosed in the application, Human Resources will review the report and  will evaluate each conviction, including any additional information the individual provides, before the offer of employment is confirmed or withdrawn.  The existence of a conviction does not automatically disqualify an individual from employment.  Relevant considerations may include, but are not limited to: the nature and number of the convictions,  dates, and the relationship a conviction has to the duties and responsibilities of the position.  Any decision to accept or reject an individual with a conviction is solely at the discretion of Wentworth.  
    9. If unreported convictions are revealed in the criminal history check, the offer of employment will be withdrawn and, if employed, the individual will be separated from employment, unless the individual shows that the report is in error.  The decision to reject or terminate an individual with an unreported conviction is solely at the discretion of Wentworth.   
    10. In the event that the results of the background check influences a decision to withdraw an employment offer or terminate employment, Human Resources will inform the hiring department and the individual.
    11. For all employment, education, and license checks/verifications, Human Resources shall maintain records indicating the item checked/verified, the name of the person completing the check/verification, the date of the check/verification, and the status of the check/verification.  These records shall be retained in a separate file in the Human Resources office.
    12.  All results of criminal and sex and violent offenders convictions check  are considered confidential and will be maintained in confidential files within the Human Resources office
    13. Human Resources will conduct criminal, credit and tax history background checks for employees in the following positions: President, Vice President, Associate Vice President, Dean and Athletics Director.
    14. Human Resources will coordinate the receipt and payment of contractor fees.

F. Sanctions for Violation

Violations of Wentworth’s policies, including providing false or misleading information in an interview, on an employment application or any materials submitted for employment and used for any of the above background checks, will be handled in accordance with applicable Wentworth  policies and procedures; which may include disciplinary actions up to and including termination from the institute.

Office Responsible for this Policy

Human Resources

Effective Date

The effective date for full implementation of this policy is July 1, 2007.

 

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