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UPE News Item

005/008 Meet & Confer Update

Employment Background Checks

The Meet and Confer process regarding the Employment Background Check has been concluded.  Below is a background to the policy and summary. 

Background: Since 2015, the County has met with UPE over numerous proposed policy revisions, however, a revised policy was never formally adopted. As of today, the current criminal history background check B-5 Policy (adopted in 09/1982) is currently in use, but will be replaced with the new Employment Background Check Policy. 

Why the change: The County pointed to an EEOC opinion that requested employers provide background checks based on actual duties performed rather than on classifications.  

Who will it impact:  An employment check(s) will be performed after a candidate is offered the position and has accepted. This would impact new hires and existing employees who transfer, demote, or promote into a new position, whose duties or qualifications require it. Hence, a background check(s) will be triggered based on actual duties assigned and not on classifications. 

Types of employment checks: Prior Employment Verification, Education/Certification Verification, Motor Vehicle, Criminal History Check, Credit Check, Welfare Records Checks. It is important to note, all checks may not be required. The type of employment checks will have to have a nexus to the functions being performed while on the job. 

Below are some significant improvements made by UPE:

Exempt From Policy:

* UPE demanded that the County exempt, “demoted employees due to layoffs” from this policy. The County agreed. 

Welfare Records Checks: 

* If a violation was flagged, UPE fought to insert language that, “may” disqualify a candidate rather than the County’s language of, “will”. The County also removed language that read, “Mitigating circumstances will not be considered or applied to these violations.”

Criminal History Background Checks: 

* UPE fought and won to add more days to file an appeal from 5 to 10 business days. 

* The candidate must be in receipt of the notice before the 10 day timeline begins. The County deems five days following mailing as, “the date of receipt”. 

* UPE demanded that the hiring department shall maintain all information in a secure and confidential manner. The County agreed. 

Credit Checks:

* 008 and 005 candidates will not be subject to a credit check. UPE argued that 008 and 005 candidates should not be subject to credit checks since the functions in those classifications do not meet the criteria outlined in the policy. The County agreed. 

Consent Forms:

* UPE expressed concerned for the duration of the authorized forms and proposed that it would only apply for 90 days upon signing. The County agreed. It will be invalid after 90 days. A copy will be placed in the electronic personnel file so the employee may have a copy/record. By no means will this allow the County the right to access, following the 90 days. 

We would like to thank 005 Board members: Ernestine Stoddard, Althea Russell, Dawn Richardson, Renee Williams, Jennifer Avalo, and 008 Board Members: Detria Terry, James Starr, Eric Booker, Stephanie McCall, and Amanda Pechin for their participation on this matter.

Both UPE 005 and 008 Board members advocated relentlessly ensuring that a fair and equitable policy would be developed. UPE feels proud of the significant victories during the meet and confer process. 

                        

    TOGETHER

     WE ARE STRONG

 

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