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4.6.1 – Procedure – Criminal Background Checks

Part 1: Procedure Statement. Lake Superior College (LSC) will conduct criminal background checks for positions as required by state and federal law. LSC may conduct background checks on job candidates and student worker applicants, prior to making offer of employment. Where appropriate under state or federal law, offers of employment may be contingent on successful completion of a criminal background check.

Part 2: Standards for Candidates with a Criminal Conviction. Candidates with a criminal conviction are not automatically disqualified from employment. Consideration must first be given to the following:

  1. Whether or not the criminal conviction directly relates to the position sought, using the following criteria:
    1. Nature and seriousness of the crime or crimes for which the individual was convicted.
    2. Relationship of the crime or crimes to the purposes of regulating the position of public employment sought.
    3. Relationship of the crime to the ability, capacity, and fitness required to perform duties and discharge the responsibilities of the position of employment.
  2. If there is not a direct relationship between the criminal conviction and the position sought, the College shall not disqualify the candidate solely or in part because of a prior criminal conviction.
  3. If the College determines that the criminal conviction is directly related to the position sought, the candidate will be required to present competent evidence of sufficient rehabilitation and fitness to perform the duties of the position sought.

Part 3: Responsibilities

Subpart A: Administrators’ and Supervisors’ Responsibilities. Administrators and supervisors should familiarize themselves with LSC policy and procedure on Criminal Background Checks and State of Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 364 Criminal Offenders, Rehabilitation.

Subpart B: Presidential Approval. Human Resources will assess and recommend to the College President, before a search process begins, whether criminal background checks should be conducted for a vacancy prior to extending an offer of employment. The College President reserves the authority to make the decision to conduct a criminal background check beyond those required by state and federal law.

Subpart C: Candidate Responsibilities. If the College President determines that the position requires a criminal background check, candidates shall provide the College authorization to complete a criminal background check by reading and signing the “Informed Consent Criminal Background Check” form. This form asks for the applicant’s name, any previous names, birth date, social security number and signature.

If it is determined that the candidates criminal conviction directly relates to the position sought the candidate shall be required to provide evidence of rehabilitation and fitness to perform duties of position, including:

  1. A copy of the local, state, or federal release order; and
  2. Evidence showing at least one year has elapsed since release from any local, state or federal correctional institution without subsequent conviction of a crime; and evidence showing compliance with all terms and conditions of probation or parole; or
  3. A copy of relevant Department of Corrections discharge order or other documents showing completion of probation or parole supervision. Human Resources shall consider the above information plus additional relevant information, including documentation presented by the applicant regarding:
    1. The nature and seriousness of the crime or crimes for which convicted.
    2. All circumstances relative to the crime or crimes including mitigating circumstances or social conditions surrounding commission of crime or crimes;
    3. The person’s age at the time the crime or crimes was committed;
    4. The length of time elapsed since the crime or crimes were committed;
    5. All other competent evidence of rehabilitation and present fitness including, but not limited to, letters of reference by persons who have been in contact with the applicant since the applicant’s release from local state or federal correctional institution.

Subpart D: Human Resources Responsibilities. Human Resources shall recommend whether a position requires a criminal background check be conducted per Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 364 Criminal Offenders, Rehabilitation.

Human Resources will implement the following process:

  1. Work with College departments to ensure that the use of criminal background checks complies with state and federal law and Minnesota State Board policies and system procedures.
  2. Where requested, provide “Informed Consent for Criminal Background Check” form to candidates who are required by the College to undergo a criminal background check.
  3. Ensure that employee’s and applicant’s “Informed Consent for Criminal Background Check” forms are retained, as required by state and federal law.
  4. Maintain a roster of all positions for which criminal background checks are required.
  5. Ensure that the College maintains a record of any applicant denied employment based on criminal convictions.
  6. If the College determines the candidate should be denied employment solely or in part due to on the individual’s prior criminal conviction, Human Resources, the College department and the College President shall meet to discuss the recommendation.
  7. If a decision is reached to deny employment solely or in part due to the individual’s prior criminal conviction, Human Resources shall notify the individual in writing of the following:
    1. The grounds and reasons for the denial or disqualification.
    2. The applicable complaint and grievance procedure as set forth in Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 14, the Administrative Procedures Act.
    3. The earliest date the person may reapply for a position.
    4. That all competent evidence of rehabilitation presented will be considered upon reapplication.
  8. If complex issues arise, Human Resources will consult with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Office of General Counsel and Human Resources Division.

Part 4: References

Criminal Offenders Rehabilitation (Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 364)

Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13)

U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know”

Date Implemented: July 2008

Date Updated: May 16, 2018