RIT Pre-employment and Other Background Screenings as of December 2016

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is committed to providing a safe and secure campus for its students, staff, faculty and visitors, and to protecting the material resources of the university. To achieve this goal the university established a screening process for individuals with accepted job offers, as well as for workers or volunteers in camps or other programs involving minors at RIT’s Henrietta campus.

The following elements are included, as appropriate, in RIT’s screening process.

  • Criminal Background Check
  • Sex Offender Registry Check (NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) Sex Offender Registry)
  • RIT Student Conduct Check (for current or previous RIT students only)
  • Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) Check (when driving is an essential function of a position as documented and outlined in the job description)

PRE-EMPLOYMENT

Upon written offer of employment the screening process will be required for:

  • All external candidates for regular faculty and staff positions for all colleges and divisions of the university
  • All adjunct faculty for all colleges and divisions of the university that have not been paid in the past 12 months
  • Co-op students in Institute Audit Compliance and Advisement  
  • Student managers that are also bartenders within Dining Services
  • Students working on grant associated or externally funded projects that require background checks as a condition of the grant/project

Elements included in the pre-employment screening process are:

  • Criminal background check
  • Sex offender registry check (NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) Sex Offender Registry)
  • RIT Student Conduct check (for current or previous RIT students only)
  • Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) check – when driving is an essential function of the position as documented and outlined in the job description.

SUMMER AND OVERNIGHT CAMPS:

Prior to the start of a Summer or Overnight Camp as defined by New York State, and annually thereafter, the following will be required to undergo the screening process:

  • All camp directors, staff and volunteers for summer overnight or day camps as defined by NYS children’s camp requirements. Information on Summer and Overnight Camps can be found here.
  • Current faculty, staff or adjunct faculty will require screenings when participating as staff or as a volunteer in any programs involving minors.

Elements included in the screening process for camp directors:

  • Criminal background check
  • Sex offender registry check (NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) Sex Offender Registry)
  • RIT Student Conduct check (for current or previous RIT students only)
  • Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) check – when driving is an essential function of the position as documented and outlined in the job description.

Elements included in the screening process for staff or volunteers:

  • Sex offender registry check
  • RIT Student Conduct check (for current or previous RIT students only)

OTHER PROGRAMS INVOLVING MINORS:

For all gatherings with minors (children under the age of 18) who are not supervised by parents or guardians and that do not qualify as a camp as defined by New York Public Health, please follow the guidelines below. These guidelines are NOT intended for use with programs or activities exclusively for registered RIT students.  In addition, these guidelines are NOT intended for performances or events which are open to the public or visits/tours for prospective students which are organized by the Division of Enrollment Management, Division of Academic Affairs or the Athletics Department within the Division of Student Affairs.  If you have questions about your event, please feel free to contact Melinda Ward in Risk Management at 475-6135.

Prior to the start of any other program involving minors and annually thereafter, a screening will be required for:

  • All program leaders who are working with minors not accompanied by a parent/guardian/teacher.
  • All other program employees or volunteers who are working with minors while NOT being directly supervised by the Program Leader.
    • Current faculty, staff or adjunct faculty will require screenings when participating as staff or as a volunteer in any programs involving minors.

Elements included in the screening process are:

  • Sex offender registry check (NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) Sex Offender Registry)
  • RIT Student Conduct check (for current or previous RIT students only)

More information on programs involving minors can be found here.

ADDITIONAL SCREENINGS UPON HIRE – FACULTY, STAFF AND STUDENT

The following individuals are subject to additional screenings prior to employment. 

  • Margaret’s House — additional screenings as required by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS).
  • Public Safety — additional screenings as required.

AGENCY-TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES

All agency temporary employees working on assignment at RIT are required to undergo the same scope of screening checks as required for RIT employees. The Agency will be responsible for running the specific elements required.

THE RIT SCREENING PROCESS DOES NOT APPLY TO:

  • Current regular faculty, staff or adjunct faculty when transferring internally to a new position at RIT unless driving is an essential function of the job and they are not currently enrolled in LENS.
  • RIT students other than those explicitly stated above  
  • Independent contractors
  • External vendors/contractors for on premises work/events

MOTOR VEHICLE RECORD (MVR) CHECK

The following individuals are required to complete an MVR check prior to the start of their employment/assignment for any position that lists driving as an essential function of the job (the reason that the position exists is to perform that function) as documented and outlined in the job description. For questions regarding what is considered an essential function of the job, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

  • Regular staff, faculty or adjunct hires
  • Current RIT regular employees/internal transfers (faculty or staff) unless they are already enrolled in the NY LENS program
  • RIT students. Students must complete a new MVR each year.  It is the responsibility of the department to submit the annual requests. 

Individuals without a valid driver’s license issued by a US State will not be permitted to drive. Please note that an International Driver’s Permit is not acceptable.

Please refer to RIT's Vehicle and Driver Safety Procedures for specifics regarding what is considered in an MVR review.

NYS LENS (License Event Notification Service) Program

Any RIT Employee (Regular Faculty, Regular Staff or Adjunct Faculty) who drive as an essential function of the job (the job cannot be performed without driving) must be entered into the NYS LENS Program in addition to completing an MVR check.  Employees must complete the NY LENS background check form to be eligible to drive. 

An RIT employee (Regular Faculty, Regular Staff or Adjunct Faculty) that drives an RIT vehicle as a convenience or sporadically when driving is not an essential function of the job must be enrolled in LENS.

Students are not required to be in LENS.

DECISIONS TO DENY EMPLOYMENT/HIRE/PARTICIPATION BASED ON SCREENING RESULTS

If any element of the screening process reveals results that could be grounds for denying future or continuing employment or when volunteering in a program dealing with minors at RIT or directed by RIT, the Associate Director of HR Operations or designee will notify both the candidate and the department manager, camp director or program leader. They will be notified that the individual is not clear for hire or participation at this time. Only the candidate is given the actual results of the screening process.

The Assistant Vice President (AVP) of Human Resources (HR) will make the decision to deny employment or volunteer participation to an individual because of a record of criminal or MVR conviction(s) or as a result of a NYS DCJS Sex Offender Registry check or RIT student conduct record.  The AVP of HR is authorized to hire an individual or allow an individual to volunteer with a record of criminal or MVR conviction(s) or RIT student conduct record after considering recommendations made in a case review process.

If the AVP of HR determines that RIT should not continue the hire, the AVP of HR will consult with the appropriate Vice President of the university before finalizing the decision. The AVP of HR does not need to consult with the appropriate Vice President of the University for decisions regarding participation as staff or volunteer for programs or camps dealing with minors.

The general and overarching conditions that guide the decision-making for employment are:

  • New York State’s public policy of encouraging the employment of persons with prior convictions.
  • The specific duties and responsibilities necessarily related to the license or employment sought.
  • The bearing, if any, the criminal offense or offenses for which the person was previously convicted will have on his ability to perform one or more such duties or responsibilities.
  • The time which has elapsed since the occurrence of the criminal offense or offenses.
  • The age of the person at the time of the occurrence of the criminal offense or offenses.
  • The seriousness of the offense or offenses.
  • Any information produced by the person, or produced on his behalf, in regard to his rehabilitation and good conduct.
  • The legitimate interest of the public agency or private employer in protecting property, and the safety and welfare of specific individuals or the general public.

If the candidate believes that the information contained in the criminal background check or MVR check is inaccurate and wishes to contest the validity of the information, the department will be required to hold the position open for up to 60 days as required by Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the federal act which oversees the criminal background check process.

While the results of the criminal background check or MVR check are being contested, the department cannot automatically hire their second choice. During this time, the department is permitted to fill the position on a temporary basis (through an outside agency or as a student worker) if circumstances require. The temporary employee must be advised in writing that the assignment is temporary, that it is for no more than 60 days, and that the temporary assignment is subject to termination with or without notice before the expiration of the 60 days.

The general and overarching conditions that guide the decision-making for participation as staff or volunteer in programs dealing with minors are:

  • The specific duties and responsibilities necessarily related to the position sought.
  • The bearing, if any the offenses for which the person was previously convicted will have on his ability to perform one or more such duties or responsibilities.
  • The time which has elapsed since the occurrence of the criminal offense or offenses.
  • The age of the person at the time of the occurrence of the criminal offense or offenses.
  • The seriousness of the offense or offenses.
  • Any information produced by the person, or produced on his behalf, in regard to his rehabilitation and good conduct.
  • The legitimate interest of the public agency or private employer in protecting property, and the safety and welfare of specific individuals or the general public.

If the candidate believes that the information contained in the NYS DCJS Sex Offender Registry check or RIT Student Conduct Record check is inaccurate and wishes to contest the validity of the information, they will have five business days to contact the Human Resources department. 

PROCESS

Individuals must complete the appropriate form(s) and submit it to hr@rit.edu prior to the start of employment or specified volunteer activity.  The Human Resources department will process the form within 72 hours of receipt of the completed authorization.

Please note: that the results from the criminal background check and/or MVR are generally returned within 24 hours from the date of the submission however results may be delayed if the vendor determines that a more thorough investigation is warranted. This may include reaching out directly to the municipality and may be as long as 30 days.  If there is an anticipated delay of longer than two business days, HR will notify the hiring manager, camp director or program leader of the expected resolution date.

Sex offender results from the DJCS for camps or programs in excess of 5 individuals may take 7-10 business days to be returned.  

When a hiring manager, camp director or program leader is requesting screenings for multiple individuals in excess of 5 per group (ex. camp) the hiring manager/director is to provide human resources with the completed programs involving minors spreadsheet with all the participants that require a check along with the completed forms as a complete package.  Partial lists will not be processed until all the individuals are listed. For groups of this size, Human Resources will submit the forms for processing within 5 business days. 

The hiring manager or camp director must receive notification from human resources that the background check has been cleared prior to the start of any individual’s assignment.