2042 - Employment Background Checks
2042 - EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND CHECKS
1. PURPOSES AND PHILOSOPHY
Piute County School District is committed to providing a safe and secure educational and working environment for students and employees. As part of this effort, the District requires criminal background checks of licensed and non-licensed employees, substitutes, and volunteers pursuant to Utah state laws, rules, and regulations, and in accordance with this policy.
2.1 “Licensed Educators” or “Licensed Employees” are individuals who hold a valid Utah educator license and have satisfied all requirements to be a Licensed Educator in the Utah public school system or is on a Letter of Authorization from the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) (i.e., school teachers, school administrators, psychologists, counselors, specialists, licensed substitute teachers, etc.). Licensed Educators may or may not be employed in a position that requires an educator license. Licensed Educators include individuals who are student teaching, who are involved in the alternative routes to licensure program, and individuals who hold District specific licenses.
2.2 “Non-Licensed Employees” are all other employees of the District, except “Licensed Employees.” Non-Licensed Employees include, but are not limited to, the “Classified Employees” in the District. Non-Licensed substitute teachers, classified substitutes, and volunteers are included in this category.
2.3 “Criminal History Report” is a document generated by the Bureau of Criminal Identification after a search of the State of Utah’s criminal history files and/or other state and federal databases designated by applicable law or by the District.
2.4 “Background Check” means information on an applicant or employee that may include, but is not limited to, Criminal History Reports and driving record reports.
3. EMPLOYMENT SCREENING
3.1 Utah law requires Background Checks on all prospective employees (i.e., the individual who is selected as the “successful applicant” for a particular job position in the District), substitutes, coaches, and volunteers who have significant unsupervised access to students (herein referred to cumulatively as the “prospective employee”) (Utah Code Ann., §53A-3-410). Accordingly, the District requires each prospective employee to submit to a Background Check prior to employment or service in the District.
All employees seeking employment with the District shall provide personal identifying information including: current name, former names, nicknames and aliases; date of birth; address; telephone number; driver license number or other government-issued identification number; Social Security number; and fingerprints.
3.2 The prospective employee shall pay the cost of the Background Check, except as otherwise provided herein. The Background Check is a condition of employment or volunteering if the prospective employee is selected as the “successful applicant” for the particular job or volunteer position.
3.3 The District shall consider only those convictions, which are job-related. An applicant, volunteer, or employer shall be extended an opportunity to review the information received as provided under and respond to any information received as a result of the criminal background check.
In making decisions regarding criminal history information, the District shall consider rules established by the Utah State Board of Education and
(a) any convictions, including pleas in abeyance;
(b) any matters involving a felony; and
(c) any matters involving an alleged:
(i) sexual offense;
(ii) class A misdemeanor drug offense;
(iii) offense against the person under Title 76, Chapter 5, Offenses Against the Person;
(iv) class A misdemeanor property offense that is alleged to have occurred within the previous three years; and
(v) any other type of criminal offense, if more than one occurrence of the same type of offense is alleged to have occurred within the previous eight years
If the District disqualifies a person from employment because of information obtained through a criminal background check, the person or employee may request a review of the information received and the reasons for the disqualification and be extended an opportunity to respond to the reasons.
3.4 The District shall resolve any request for review by the prospective employee through applicable administrative procedures established by the District.
3.5 If a current employee is dismissed from employment because of information obtained through a Background Check, the person shall receive written notice of the reasons for dismissal and have an opportunity to respond to the reasons for the dismissal.
3.6 All employees seeking employment with the District shall sign a written consent, release, waiver, and authorization, which authorize the District to request information from the prospective employee’s past three employers and supervisors. The consent, release, waiver, and authorization shall also authorize the District to contact any applicable licensing agency and former employers to obtain a background check, including a reference check, and to conduct a background search into the employee’s criminal record, if any, or any other background check as the District deems necessary to satisfy itself of the quality and competence of the prospective employee’s credentials including submitting the personal identifying information to the Bureau of Criminal Identification within the Department of Public Safety and retaining
4. LICENSED EMPLOYEES AND NON-LICENSED EMPLOYEES –
REPORTING OF ARRESTS AND CONVICTIONS
4.1 A Licensed Educator or Non-Licensed Employee who is arrested for any of the following alleged offenses shall report the arrest within forty-eight (48) hours or as soon as possible to the Superintendent or his/her designee:
4.1.1 any matters involving arrests for alleged sex offenses;
4.1.2 any matters involving arrests for alleged drug-related offenses;
4.1.3 any matters involving arrests for alleged alcohol-related offenses;
4.1.4 any matters involving arrests for alleged offenses against the person under Utah Code Ann., Title 76, Chapter 5, Offenses Against the Person. This Title and Chapter includes, but is not limited to, crimes where a person has assaulted, harassed, abused, neglected, exploited, endangered, kidnapped, murdered, trafficked, raped, sexually assaulted, etc. another person(s); and
4.1.5 any matters relating to arrests for violations of the vehicle code for employees who drive motor vehicles as an employment responsibility.
4.2 A Licensed Educator or Non-Licensed Employee shall report convictions, including pleas in abeyance and diversion agreements, within forty-eight (48) hours or as soon as possible upon receipt of notice of the conviction, plea in abeyance, or diversion agreement.
4.3 A Licensed Educator or Non-Licensed Employee will be immediately suspended from student supervision responsibilities for alleged sex offenses and other alleged offenses, which may endanger students during the period of investigation.
4.4 A Licensed Educator or Non-Licensed Employee will be immediately suspended from transporting students or driving a public education vehicle for alleged offenses involving alcohol or drugs during the period of investigation, and where reasonable cause exists, an existing employee may be required to submit to a Background Check.
4.5 The District will provide adequate due process for the accused employee consistent with Utah Code Ann., §53A-3-410(10) and applicable administrative procedures established by the District.
4.6 The Superintendent or his/her designee shall report a conviction, arrest, or offense information received from a Licensed Educator to the USBE within forty-eight (48) hours of receipt of information from Licensed Educators. This will be reported on the USBE reporting link on the USBE website, and where reasonable cause exists, an existing employee must submit to a Background Check With Rapback.
4.7 The Superintendent or his/her designee shall review arrest information and make employment decisions that protect both the safety of students and/or employees and the confidentiality and due process rights of employees.
4.8 The Licensed Educator or Non-Licensed Employee shall report for work following the arrest of any matters listed in items 6.1.1 through 6.1.5 only after notice has been provided to the District unless directed not to report for work by the District.
4.9 Documents and records related to an employee’s arrest and/or conviction, plea in abeyance, or diversion agreements, as well as final administrative determinations and actions following investigation, shall be maintained for a minimum of two (2) years following termination of employment with the District and require protection of confidential employment information.
5. SUBSTITUTES AND VOLUNTEERS
The District shall require all substitutes to have a Background Check with Rapback. The District shall require all volunteers who will be given significant unsupervised access to a student in connection with the volunteer’s assignment or participates in an overnight activity to have a Background Check with Rapback if they wish to remain on the volunteer list.
6. DISTRICT RESPONSIBILITIES
7.1 When arrest/conviction information is received by the District regarding a Licensed Employee, the Superintendent or his/her designee shall review that information and assess the employment status consistent with Utah Code Ann., §53A-6-501, Utah Administrative Code, R277-515, and District policy. The District will also report the arrest to the USBE within forty-eight (48) hours. “Licensed educator” means an individual who holds a valid Utah educator license and has satisfied all requirements to be a licensed educator in the Utah public school system (examples are teachers, school administrators, and school district specialists). A licensed educator may or may not be employed in a position that requires an educator license. Licensed educators include individuals who are student teaching, who are in alternative routes to licensing programs or positions and individuals who hold district-specific licenses.
7.2 When arrest/conviction information is received by the District regarding a Non-Licensed Employee, the Superintendent or his/her designee shall review that information and assess the employee's employment status while considering the Non-Licensed Employee's employment status consistent with applicable Utah law, rules, and regulations, District Policy, and any applicable Employment Agreements or Memorandums of Understanding.
7.3 The District shall provide appropriate training to Licensed and Non-Licensed Employees about the provisions of this policy for self-reporting and ethical behavior.
7.4 The District shall cooperate with the USBE in investigations of Licensed Educators.
7.5 By September 1, 2018, the District shall, for each non-licensed employee and volunteer who will be given significant unsupervised access to a student in connection with the volunteer's assignment, collect personal identifying information including: current name, former names, nicknames and aliases; date of birth; address; telephone number; driver license number or other government-issued identification number; Social Security number; and fingerprints and submit that personal identifying information to the Bureau of Criminal Identification within the Department of Public Safety.
Utah Code Ann., §53A-3-410
Utah Code Ann., §53A-6-401, et seq.
Utah Code Ann., Title 76, Chapter 5, Offenses Against the Person
Utah Administrative Code, R277-501
Utah Administrative Code, R277-516