Criminal History and Background Checks for Employment

Administrative Rule
4.0300.04
Council: Administrative Services Council
Board Policy Reference: DC, Employment Practices
Effective date: 08/19/21

Value Statement

The Austin Community College District (“ACC” or “the College”) is committed to protecting the security, safety, and health of faculty, staff, students, and others, as well as safeguarding the assets and resources of the College.  The security and safety of the campus community can be best achieved when risk and compliance are well managed. To meet these objectives, the College will conduct a background check, and any other legally required employment check as a condition of employment.  Employment procedures associated with background checks are to be conducted in a manner that supports the College’s commitment to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination in hiring practices. 

Administrative Rule

The College conducts position-specific, job-related criminal history, or background checks on any job candidate or employee. Background checks include criminal background checks, drug screens, motor vehicle records, employment verifications, education verifications, license verifications, the Sex Offender Registry, and other job-related background checks.

Criminal History or Background Checks

  1. A criminal history or background check will be used only to evaluate a job candidate’s eligibility to work in a given position, which will be determined, on a case-by-case basis, on the basis of the results of the background check.
  2. Job candidates and employees hired in security-sensitive positions as listed in the job description must have a criminal history and background check that may include fingerprinting prior to employment and during employment at the discretion of the College.
  3. A job candidate or employee must provide consent to a criminal history and background checks and provide accurate, complete information for criminal history and background check reports. If a job candidate or employee refuses to permit a background check, or signs one and it is determined the individual has falsified or withheld information during the employment process, the individual will be disqualified or terminated from employment.
  4. Interns, contractors and individuals who work on ACC’s campuses or engage with ACC’s vulnerable populations on or off-campus must consent to the College’s criminal history and background check processes. Vulnerable populations are most often defined in federal grants, contracts, and College programs, e.g., ACC’s Child Lab School. Criminal history and background checks are processed by the College for all populations.
  5. A criminal conviction will be reviewed with respect to the nature and gravity of the offenses(s); time since the conviction; completion of a sentence or any other remediation; relevance to the position for which the job candidate is being considered; and discrepancies between the criminal background check and what the job candidate or employee reports.
  6. An employee shall notify his or her immediate supervisor within three calendar days of any conviction, no-contest, guilty plea, or other adjudication of the employee, or for any felony.
  7. A criminal history or background check will not be used to discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability or handicap, age, genetic information, veteran status, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Responsibilities:

Human Resources shall:

  1. Ensure a job candidate or employee has access to the process and associated consent and disclosure forms;
  2. Consult with a supervisor regarding the criminal history and/or background checks regarding the individual’s employment; and
  3. Ensure security sensitive positions are identified within the College’s catalogue of job descriptions.

Supervisors shall:

  1. Make employment decisions, in consultation with the Office of Human Resources, and their highest-level administrator; and
  2. Evaluate an employee’s Disclosure of Pending Criminal Convictions form to determine the impact on continued employment.

Job candidates and employees shall:

  1. Disclose a conviction, no-contest, guilty plea, or other adjudication of the employee in accordance with ACC policy; and
  2. Consent for the College to conduct a criminal history or background check.

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