Background Check Criteria as of March 1, 2015

Rochester Institute of Technology 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 background check process for its hiring activities at the Henrietta campus.

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

  • Criminal Background Check
  • Sex Offender Registry Check
  • 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)

RIT does not run credit reports as a part of the background check process.

RIT does not use social media as part of the background check process.

The following individuals must complete the Background Check Form and submit it to prior to the start of employment or specified volunteer activity (see below).  The Human Resources department will process the form within 72 hours of receipt of the completed authorization form.  When a hiring manager is requesting multiple background checks in excess of 5 per group (e.g. camp, student club advisors, etc.) the hiring manager is to provide human resources with a list with all the participants that require a check along with the completed forms. The entire package should be sent at one time. For groups of this size, Human Resources will process the forms 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.


Criminal Background, Sex Offender, & RIT Student Conduct Check

Upon Hire

The following individuals are subject to a criminal background check, sex offender registry check and RIT student conduct check (if current or previous RIT student) prior to employment:

  • All regular faculty and staff for all colleges and divisions of the university
  • All new adjunct faculty for all colleges and divisions of the university
  • Institute Audit Compliance and Advisement — co-op student employees
  • Dining Services — student managers that are also bartenders
  • Students working on grant associated/externally funded projects that require background checks as a condition of the grant/project


The following individuals are subject to certain background check(s) annually:

  • All staff and volunteers working (workshop or other programs at RIT) with unsupervised minors. (Sex offender registry only)
  • All camp directors for Summer or Day camps as defined by NYS children’s camp requirements, (Criminal Background Check, Sex Offender Registry, RIT Student Conduct check for current or previous RIT students only)
  • More information on Summer and Overnight Camps can be found here and information on other programs involving minors can be found here.

Agency-Temporary Employees

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


Within affected organizations/positions, some groups/classifications are excluded:

  • Student employees/co-op students other than those explicitly stated above  
  • Independent contractors
  • External vendors/contractors for on premises work/events


Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) Check

Upon Hire

The following individuals are required to complete an MVR background check prior to the start of their employment/assignment for any position that lists driving as an essential function of the job.

The MVR check must be run and cleared prior to the start of the individual’s assignment. This applies to:

  • Any staff or faculty hires for a position that lists driving as an essential function of the job
  • Student Employees operating RIT vehicles
  • Current RIT regular employees/internal transfers (faculty or staff) who transfer to a position that requires an MVR check for operating RIT vehicles (as identified by the hiring department) unless they are already enrolled in the NY LENS program.
  • If the employee (faculty-staff-student) has an out-of-state license, the individual must complete the Background check form. The individual may be required to secure a copy of their driving record from that state

Please note— International Students without a valid New York State driver’s license are not permitted to operate any RIT vehicles as there is no ability to verify the validity of a driver’s license record prior to coming to RIT/USA. An International Driving Permit is not a driver’s license. The permit only verifies that the individual holds a valid driver’s license in their home country. International students with a valid out-of-state license, will be required to complete the background check form and may be required to secure a copy of their driving record from the state that issued the license.


NYS LENS (License Event Notification Service) Program

RIT Employees (Regular Faculty, Adjunct Faculty or Staff) who do any of the following must be entered into the NYS LENS Program by completing the NY LENS background check form to be eligible to drive vehicles for RIT business purposes (unless listed above in exceptions):

Employees who either regularly or intermittently drive any RIT vehicles. This includes, but is not limited to, automobiles, trucks, Gators, and golf carts.

Employees who regularly drive their personal vehicles for RIT business purposes.

Employees who regularly rent vehicles while traveling for RIT business purposes.

Only employees with NYS driver’s licenses can be entered into LENS. Employees with driver’s licenses from other states will be subject to annual MVR checks. The Vehicle and Driver Safety Procedures for RIT can be found in their entirety here.

Additional Verifications Upon Hire - Faculty, Staff, and Students

The following individuals are subject to additional verifications prior to employment:

  • Margaret’s House— additional verification for positions within their area, which are managed by the respective departments.
  • Public Safety— additional requirements (such as drug testing and physical) and verification of required certifications for positions within their area, are managed by the respective departments.


Background Check Results

If the background check reveals any negative results that could be grounds for denying future or continuing employment or as a volunteer, the HRIS Manager or designee will notify both the candidate and the department manager or camp director. 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 background check.

If the candidate believes that the information contained in the criminal background 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 background check process.

While the results of the criminal background 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) 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.

Decisions to Deny Employment/Hire Based on Results

The Assistant Vice President of Human Resources will make the decision to deny employment or volunteer participation to an individual because of a record of criminal, MVR conviction(s) or RIT student conduct record or 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 will consult with the appropriate Vice President of the university before finalizing the decision.

The general and overarching conditions that guide the decision-making 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.