8. Criminal Background Check


Toward creating and sustaining a safe environment for all members of the university community, criminal history background checks will be conducted as part of the staff recruitment process. The purpose of this policy is to provide procedures and guidelines for implementation of criminal history background checks for non-academic positions.


The University of Nebraska-Lincoln will conduct criminal history background checks on all applicants who are finalists for Managerial/Professional and Office/Service positions. Temporary and on-call positions are included in this policy. A more extensive criminal history background check will be conducted for University Police Department positions, positions covered under the Patriot Act, and other positions when necessary.

Policy Applicability

This policy is applicable for full-time and part-time regular, and temporary non-academic positions, including administrative, managerial/professional and office/service employees, on-call, and event staff. Existing employees are subject to criminal history background checks for any position for which they wish to transfer and where a background check is required for that position.

Content of Criminal History Background Checks

Criminal history background checks include a check of public and court criminal conviction records (Federal, Global, Nationwide, Sex Offender and Statewide) for a minimum of seven years. Criminal history background checks do not involve checks or reference to, an applicant's credit history.

Cost and Billing

The university contracts with a private, licensed vendor to complete criminal history background checks. Costs for background checks will be billed to the department posting the position vacancy. Business billing address and cost object number are setup directly with the vendors.

Recruiting Process and Criminal History Background Check Procedure

The following procedures must be followed during the recruitment process;

  • Notice is provided to applicants when the position is posted that a criminal history background check will be conducted. In addition, hiring managers should inform all applicants, as a part of the interview, that a criminal history background check will be conducted on the applicant selected as the top candidate. Notice must be given to confirmed applicants or finalists by the hiring manager that a criminal history background check will be conducted.
  • An offer to the top candidate should be made "contingent upon successfully completing a criminal history background check."
  • After a contingent offer of hire is made, the selected candidate will complete an on-line criminal history background check form.

Utilization of Criminal Conviction Information in Determining Employment Eligibility

  • Criminal convictions are the primary information used to assess the candidate's suitability for hire. Pending charges may be a factor in determining employment eligibility if those charges are determined to be related to the requirements of the position.
  • In weighing reported criminal history information, factors such as date of the offense, criminal pattern, time elapsed since the last offense, and the seriousness and nature of the violation in relation to the duties and responsibilities of the position are considered.
  • Amongst other things, falsification of information, omission of offenses, and deception by the applicant are grounds for denial of employment.
  • If a relationship can be made between reported criminal history and position requirements, the hiring manager and/or human resources specialist may clarify with the applicant the relevance of the conviction information to employment eligibility.
  • If the hiring manager wishes to eliminate an applicant from employment consideration solely on the basis of a past criminal history background, the manager should first consult with Human Resources to determine job relevancy and employment eligibility.
  • Current employees (transfer applicants): Information generated from the criminal history background check when a current employee is the selected candidate for hire for a transfer position may impact the employee's employment status in the current position, as well as, eligibility for employment in the new position. Additionally, falsification of information, omission of offenses, and deception by the applicant are grounds for termination from the existing position and denial of employment for the new position.

Applicant Rights

A candidate has the right to dispute the public record findings resulting from the criminal history background check. If a candidate does not dispute the public record information from the criminal history background check, the university and Human Resources will move forward with the search process.

A candidate who is determined to be ineligible for hire because of the results of a criminal history background check may request, in writing, a copy of the report from Human Resources. If an applicant wishes to dispute the results of the public record information obtained in the criminal history background report:

  • Human Resources will provide the applicant with a copy of the criminal history background report, and a copy of "Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act." Human Resources will also provide the applicant with contact information for the university's criminal history background vendor.
  • A candidate deciding to dispute the public record findings of the criminal history background check is responsible for contacting the university's vendor within 48 hours after being notified of ineligibility of employment. A review of disputed public record results will be done at no cost to the candidate. The vendor will contact UNL Human Resources confirming the findings and/or providing clarification.
  • If the applicant disputes the results of the public record information, the applicant is directly responsible for correcting results believed to be in error.
  • Appeal to Human Resources: Any applicant who is not hired as a result of their criminal history background check has the opportunity to request a reconsideration by Human Resources. This reconsideration should be in writing and address to the Director of Employee Relations, Compensation and Employment at unljobs@unl.edu

Any questions regarding this policy can be directed to campus Human Resources, 402-472-3101.

Red Flag Rule

The Federal Trade Commission has promulgated a “Red Flag Rule”, aimed at protecting consumers from identity theft. This rule affects the background check process used by the University of Nebraska- Lincoln.

In the event that any university unit handling background checks notices an address discrepancy in the process of checking criminal backgrounds for job applicants and/or students, they are instructed to notify Human Resources immediately. The contact for this process will be the Director of Compensation and Employment, 402-472-3104.

Human Resources will investigate the discrepancy and involve the university's outside criminal background check vendor as well as the University Police Department as warranted.

Falsifying Applications and Criminal Background Checks

All staff positions require completion of criminal background checks prior to placement at departmental expense. Falsifying or omitting pertinent information on employment applications, on resumes, in employment interviews, or in any part of the hiring process, will constitute cause for corrective action up to and including dismissal.