Positions which are considered "safety or security sensitive" will require background checks. Some examples of elements that are considered in making this assessment are listed in Section 2 of University Administrative Policy 3280.
The proposed policy is in compliance with the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act that sets national standards for employment screenings. The policy is also in compliance with the New Mexico Criminal Offender Employment Act, New Mexico Caregivers Criminal History Screening Act, Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, and the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.
A comprehensive list of positions that currently require background checks is posted under the Criteria tab of this page.
No. The level of the background check will depend on the nature of the job. Information obtained may range from a confirmation of identity to a full review of criminal records depending on the nature of the job and/or any legal requirements.
UNM currently uses a third party vendor who is required to maintain expertise, conduct the background checks in accordance with all laws and regulations, and comply with all aspects of UNM policy. Trained personnel in the Division of Human Resources administer the program. In some case, certain programs with state, federal, or contractual requirements may go through other agencies for background checking.
The majority of safety and security sensitive positions are held by staff. Therefore, there is a greater need for background checks on staff. Student employees, volunteers, and contractors who are in safety and security sensitive positions will also have background checks.
Individuals who apply for a position at UNM who are unwilling to submit to a background check will not be considered for employment, promotion, or transfer to a safety or security sensitive position. Existing employees in need of a background check who are unwilling to submit to a background check may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.
Generally, background checks will be limited to the past seven years unless the governing statute of limitations is longer. Background checks will not include information that has been expunged by court order.
Human Resources will send the applicant or employee a pre-adverse action notice letter that outlines the preliminary findings and gives the individual an opportunity to respond before a final decision is made. Please see the
Applicant Consent and Disclosure Authorization Form for a summary of the employee's or applicant's rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Employees who wish to appeal an adverse decision must follow the procedures described in University Administrative Policy 3215 - Performance Management and University Administrative Policy 3220 - Dispute Resolution. Employees in bargaining unit titles should also review the respective collective bargaining agreement.
The applicant or employee may request an administrative reconsideration by contacting the Division of Human Resources or by contacting the vendor that ran the background check.
How often may current employees in safety or security sensitive positions be required to undergo "periodic" background checks?
To ensure that this policy is administered consistently and solely for the purposes for which it is intended, only the Division of Human Resources or the Police Department can request background checks for individuals applying for or occupying positions designated as safety and security sensitive with the exception of programs with state, federal, or contractual requirements that necessitate that checks be done through another entity. Supervisors may not request or conduct background checks.
All background check records, which are protected by law, will be maintained and secured by the Division of Human Resources. Records will not be disclosed to any person or agency except on receipt of legal process or with the written consent of the individual.
The fingerprinting requirement for the Caregiver Criminal Screening Act is governed by the State of New Mexico, Department of Health.
For more information, including frequently asked questions, please visit the Department of Health website.
For more information, see the CYFD Background Check and Employment Verification provisions.