Policy Tool | District Policies

4111.5Employment Checks

 

EMPLOYMENT CHECKS

As set forth below, each applicant for a position with the district shall be asked whether he/she has ever been convicted of a crime, whether there are any criminal charges pending against him/her and whether the applicant is included on the Abuse and Neglect Registry of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) (the “Registry”).  If the applicant’s current or most recent employment occurred out of state, the applicant will also be asked whether he/she is included on an equivalent database and/or abuse/neglect registry maintained in that other state.  Applicants shall not be required to disclose any arrest, criminal charge or conviction that has been erased.

 

In addition, the district shall conduct an employment history check for each applicant for a position, as set forth below.

For the purposes of this policy:

“Sexual misconduct means” any verbal, nonverbal, written, or electronic communication, or any other act directed toward or with a student that is designed to establish a sexual relationship with the student, including a sexual invitation, dating or soliciting a date, engaging in sexual dialog, making sexually suggestive comments, self-disclosure or physical exposure of a sexual or erotic nature, and any other sexual, indecent, or erotic contact with a student.

 

“Abuse or neglect” means abuse or neglect as described in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-120, and includes any violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 53a-70 (sexual assault in the first degree), 53a-70a (aggravated sexual assault in the first degree), 53a-71 (sexual assault in the second degree), 53a-72a (sexual assault in the third degree), 53a-72b (sexual assault in the third degree with a firearm), or 53a-73a (sexual assault in the fourth degree).

“Former employer” means any person, firm, business, educational institution, nonprofit agency, corporation, limited liability company, the state, any political subdivision of the state, any governmental agency, or any other entity that such applicant was employed by during any of the previous twenty years prior to applying for a position with a local or regional board of education.

 

  1. Employment History Check Procedures

 

  1. The district shall not offer employment to an applicant for a position, including any position that is contracted for, if such applicant would have direct student contact, prior to the district:

 

  1. Requiring the applicant:

          

  1. to list the name, address, and telephone number of each current employer or former employer (please note the definition of “former employer” employer above, including the applicable twenty year reporting period) during any of the previous twenty years), if:

 

(i)       such current or former employer is/was a local or regional board of education, council of a state or local charter school, interdistrict magnet school operator, or a supervisory agent of a nonpublic school, and/or

 

(ii)      the applicant’s employment with such current or former employer caused the applicant to have contact with children.

 

  1. to submit a written authorization that

          

(i)       consents to and authorizes disclosure by the employers listed under paragraph I.A.1.a of this policy of the information requested under paragraph I.A.2 of this policy and the release of related records by such employers,

 

(ii)      consents to and authorizes disclosure by the Department of Education of the information requested under paragraph I.A.3 of this policy and the release of related records by the department, and

 

(iii)     releases those employers and the Department of Education from liability that may arise from such disclosure or release of records pursuant to paragraphs I.A.2 or I.A.3 of this policy; and

 

  1. to submit a written statement of whether the applicant

 

(i)       has been the subject of an abuse or neglect or sexual misconduct investigation by any employer, state agency or municipal police department, unless the investigation resulted in a finding that all allegations were unsubstantiated,

 

(ii)      has ever been disciplined or asked to resign from employment or resigned from or otherwise separated from any employment while an allegation of abuse or neglect was pending or under investigation by DCF, or an allegation of sexual misconduct was pending or under investigation or due to an allegation substantiated pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 17a-101g or abuse or neglect, or of sexual misconduct or a conviction for abuse or neglect or sexual misconduct, or

 

(iii)     has ever had a professional or occupational license or certificate suspended or revoked or has ever surrendered such a license or certificate while an allegation of abuse or neglect was pending or under investigation by DCF or an investigation of sexual misconduct was pending or under investigation, or due to an allegation substantiated by DCF of abuse or neglect or of sexual misconduct or a conviction for abuse or neglect or sexual misconduct;

 

  1. Conducting a review of the employment history of the applicant by contacting those employers listed by the applicant under paragraph I.A.1.a of this policy. Such review shall be conducted using a form developed by the Department of Education, which shall request the following:

 

  1. the dates employment of the applicant, and

 

  1. a statement as to whether the employer has knowledge that the applicant:

 

(i)       was the subject of an allegation of abuse or neglect or sexual misconduct for which there is an investigation pending with any employer, state agency, or municipal police department or which has been substantiated;

 

(ii)      was disciplined or asked to resign from employment or resigned from or otherwise separated from any employment while an allegation of abuse or neglect or sexual misconduct was pending or under investigation, or due to a substantiation of abuse or neglect or sexual misconduct; or

 

(iii)     has ever had a professional or occupational license, certificate, authorization or permit suspended or revoked or has ever surrendered such a license, certificate, authorization or permit while an allegation of abuse or neglect or sexual misconduct was pending or under investigation, or due to a substantiation of abuse or neglect or sexual misconduct.  Such review may be conducted telephonically or through written communication.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (f) of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51i, not later than five (5) business days after the district receives a request for such information about an employee or former employee, the district shall respond with such information.  The district may request more information concerning any response made by a current or former employer for information about an applicant, and, notwithstanding subsection (f), such employer shall respond not later than five (5) business days after receiving such request. 

 

  1. Requesting information from the Department of Education concerning:

 

  1. the eligibility status for employment of any applicant for a position requiring a certificate, authorization or permit,

 

  1. whether the Department of Education has knowledge that a finding has been substantiated by DCF pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 17a-101g of abuse or neglect or of sexual misconduct against the applicant and any information concerning such a finding, and

 

  1. whether the Department of Education has received notification that the applicant has been convicted of a crime or of criminal charges pending against the applicant and any information concerning such charges.

 

  1. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (f) of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51i, if the district receives information that an applicant for a position with or an employee of the board has been disciplined for a finding of abuse or neglect or sexual misconduct, it shall notify the Department of Education of such information.

 

  1. The district shall not employ an applicant for a position involving direct student contact who does not comply with the provisions of paragraph I.A.1 of this policy.

 

  1. The district may employ or contract with an applicant on a temporary basis for a period not to exceed ninety (90) calendar days, pending the district’s review of information received under this section, provided:

 

  1. The applicant complied with paragraph I.A.1 of this policy;

 

  1. The district has no knowledge of information pertaining to the applicant that would disqualify the applicant from employment with the district; and

 

  1. The applicant affirms that the applicant is not disqualified from employment with the district.

 

  1. The district shall not enter into a collective bargaining agreement, an employment contract, an agreement for resignation or termination, a severance agreement, or any other contract or agreement or take any action that:

 

  1. Has the effect of suppressing information relating to an investigation of a report of suspected abuse or neglect or sexual misconduct by a current or former employee;

 

  1. Affects the ability of the district to report suspected abuse or neglect or sexual misconduct to appropriate authorities; or

 

  1. Requires the district to expunge information about an allegation or a finding of suspected abuse or neglect or sexual misconduct from any documents maintained by the district, unless, after investigation, such allegation is dismissed or found to be false.

 

  1. The district shall not offer employment to a person as a substitute teacher, unless such person and the district comply with the provisions of paragraph I.A.1 of this policy. The district shall determine which such persons are employable as substitute teachers and maintain a list of such persons.  The district shall not hire any person as a substitute teacher who is not on such list.  Such person shall remain on such list as long as such person is continuously employed by the district as a substitute teacher as described in paragraph III.B.2 of this policy, provided the district does not have any knowledge of a reason that such person should be removed from such list.

 

  1. In the case of an applicant who is a contractor, the contractor shall require any employee with such contractor who would be in a position involving direct student contact to supply to such contractor all the information required of an applicant under paragraphs I.A.1.a and I.A.1.c of this policy and a written authorization under paragraph I.A.1.b of this policy. Such contractor shall contact any current or former employer (please note the definition of “former employer” employer above, including the applicable twenty year reporting period) of such employee that was a local or regional board of education, council of a state or local charter school, interdistrict magnet school operator, or a supervisory agent of a nonpublic school, or if the employee’s employment with such current or former employer caused the employee to have contact with children, and request, either telephonically or through written communication, any information concerning whether there was a finding of abuse or neglect or sexual misconduct against such employee.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (f) of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51i, such employer shall report to the contractor any such finding, either telephonically or through written communication.  If the contractor receives any information indicating such a finding or otherwise receives any information indicating such a finding or otherwise has knowledge of such a finding, the contractor shall, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (f) of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51i, immediately forward such information to the district, either telephonically or through written communication.  If the district receives such information, it shall determine whether such employee may work in a position involving direct student contact at any school in the district.  No determination by the district that any such employee shall not work under any such contract in any such position shall constitute a breach of such contract.

 

  1. Any applicant who knowingly provides false information or knowingly fails to disclose information required in subdivision (1) of subsection (A) of this section shall be subject to discipline by the district that may include

          

  1. denial of employment, or

 

  1. termination of the contract of a certified employee, in accordance with the provisions of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-151.

 

  1. If the district provides information in accordance with paragraph I.A.2 or I.G of this policy, the district shall be immune from criminal and civil liability, provided the district did not knowingly supply false information.

 

  1. Notwithstanding the provisions of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-151c and subsection (f) of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51i, the district shall provide, upon request by another local or regional board of education, governing council of a state or local charter school, interdistrict magnet school operator, or supervisory agent of a nonpublic school for the purposes of an inquiry pursuant to paragraphs I.A.2 or I.G of this policy or to the Commissioner of Education pursuant to paragraph I.B of this policy any information that the district has concerning a finding of abuse or neglect or sexual misconduct by a subject of any such inquiry.

 

  1. Prior to offering employment to an applicant, the district shall make a documented good faith effort to contact each current and any former employer (please note the definition of “former employer” employer above, including the applicable twenty year reporting period) of the applicant that was a local or regional board of education, governing council of a state or local charter school, interdistrict magnet school operator, or supervisory agent of a nonpublic school, or if the applicant’s employment with such current or former employer caused the applicant to have contact with children in order to obtain information and recommendations that may be relevant to the applicant’s fitness for employment. Such effort, however, shall not be construed to require more than three telephonic requests made on three separate days. 

 

  1. The district shall not offer employment to any applicant who had any previous employment contract terminated by a local or regional board of education, council of a state or local charter school, interdistrict magnet school operator, or a supervisory agent of a nonpublic school, or who resigned from such employment, if the person has been convicted of a violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 17a-101a, when an allegation of abuse or neglect or sexual assault has been substantiated.

 

  1. DCF Registry Checks

 

Prior to hiring any person for a position with the district, the district shall require such applicant to submit to a records check of information maintained on the Registry concerning the applicant. 

 

For any applicant whose current or most recent employment occurred out of state, the district shall request that the applicant provide the district with authorization to access information maintained concerning the applicant by the equivalent state agency in the state of most recent employment, if such state maintains information about abuse and neglect and has a procedure by which such information can be obtained.  Refusal to permit the district to access such information shall be considered grounds for rejecting any applicant for employment.

 

The district shall request information from the Registry or its out of state equivalent promptly, and in any case no later than thirty (30) calendar days from the date of employment.  Registry checks will be processed according to the following procedure:

 

  1. No later than ten (10) calendar days after the Superintendent or his/her designee has notified a job applicant of a decision to offer employment to the applicant, or as soon thereafter as practicable, the Superintendent or designee will either obtain the information from the Registry or, if the applicant’s consent is required to access the information, will supply the applicant with the release form utilized by DCF, or its out of state equivalent when available, for obtaining information from the Registry.

 

  1. If consent is required to access the Registry, no later than ten (10) calendar days after the Superintendent or his/her designee has provided the successful job applicant with the form, the applicant must submit the signed form to DCF or its out of state equivalent, with a copy to the Superintendent or his/her designee. Failure of the applicant to submit the signed form to DCF or its out of state equivalent within such ten-day period, without good cause, will be grounds for the withdrawal of the offer of employment. 

 

  1. Upon receipt of Registry or out-of-state registry information indicating previously undisclosed information concerning abuse or neglect investigations concerning the successful job applicant/employee, the Superintendent or his/her designee will notify the affected applicant/employee in writing of the results of the Registry check and will provide an opportunity for the affected applicant/employee to respond to the results of the Registry check.

 

  1. If notification is received by the Superintendent or designee that that the applicant is listed as a perpetrator of abuse or neglect on the Registry, the Superintendent or designee shall provide the applicant with an opportunity to be heard regarding the results of the Registry check. If warranted by the results of the Registry check and any additional information provided by the applicant, the Superintendent or designee shall revoke the offer of employment and/or terminate the applicant’s employment if he or she has already commenced working for the district.

III.       Criminal Records Check Procedure

 

  1. Each person hired by the district shall be required to submit to state and national criminal record checks within thirty (30) calendar days from the date of employment. Each person otherwise placed within a school under any public assistance employment program, employed by a provider of supplemental services pursuant to federal law or in a nonpaid, noncertified position completing preparation requirements for the issuance of an educator certificate, who performs a service involving direct student contact shall also be required to submit to state and national criminal record checks within thirty (30) calendar days from the date such worker begins to perform such service.  Record checks will be processed according to the following procedure:*

 

  1. No later than five (5) calendar days after the Superintendent or his/her designee has notified a job applicant of a decision to hire the applicant, or as soon thereafter as practicable, the Superintendent or his/her designee will provide the applicant with a packet containing all documents and materials necessary for the applicant to be fingerprinted by the State of Connecticut Department of Public Safety. This packet shall also contain all documents and materials necessary for the police department to submit the completed fingerprints to the State Police Bureau of Identification for the processing of state and national criminal record checks.  The Superintendent or his/her designee will also provide each applicant with the following notifications before the applicant obtains his/her fingerprints: (1) Agency Privacy Requirements for Noncriminal Justice Applicants; (2) Noncriminal Justice Applicant’s Privacy Rights; (3) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice Privacy Act Statement.

 

  1. No later than ten (10) calendar days after the Superintendent or his/her designee has provided the successful job applicant with the fingerprinting packet, the applicant must arrange to be fingerprinted by the Connecticut Department of Public Safety. Failure of the applicant to have his/her fingerprints taken within such ten-day period, without good cause, will be grounds for the withdrawal of the offer of employment. 

 

  1. Any person for whom criminal records checks are required to be performed pursuant to this policy must pay all fees and costs associated with the fingerprinting process and/or the submission or processing of the requests for criminal record checks.

 

  1. Upon receipt of a criminal record check indicating a previously undisclosed conviction, the Superintendent or his/her designee will notify the affected applicant/employee in writing of the results of the record check and will provide an opportunity for the affected applicant/employee to respond to the results of the criminal record check. The affected applicant/employee may notify the Superintendent or his/her designee in writing within five (5) calendar days that the affected/employee will challenge his/her criminal history record check.  Upon written notification to the Superintendent or his/her designee of such a challenge, the affected applicant/employee shall have ten (10) calendar days to provide the Superintendent or his/her designee with necessary documentation regarding the affected applicant/employee’s record challenge.  The Superintendent or his/her designee may grant an extension to the preceding ten-day period during which the affected applicant/employee may provide such documentation for good cause shown.

 

  1. Decisions regarding the effect of a conviction upon an applicant/employee, whether disclosed or undisclosed by the applicant/employee, will be made on a case-by-case basis. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the falsification or omission of any information on a job application or in a job interview, including but not limited to information concerning criminal convictions or pending criminal charges, shall be grounds for disqualification from consideration for employment or discharge from employment.

 

  1. Notwithstanding anything in paragraph III.A.5 of this Policy, above, no decision to deny employment or withdraw an offer of employment on the basis of an applicant/employee’s criminal history record shall be made without affording the applicant/employee the opportunities set forth in paragraph III.A.4 of this Policy, above.

 

  1. B. Criminal Records Check for Substitute Teachers:

 

A substitute teacher who is hired by the district must submit to state and national criminal history record checks according to the procedures outlined above, subject to the following: 

 

  1. If the state and national criminal history record checks for a substitute teacher have been completed within one year prior to the date the district hired the substitute teacher, and if the substitute teacher arranged for such prior criminal history record checks to be forwarded to the Superintendent, then the substitute teacher will not be required to submit to another criminal history record check at the time of such hire.

 

  1. If a substitute teacher submitted to state and national criminal history record checks upon being hired by the district, then the substitute teacher will not be required to submit to another criminal history record check so long as the substitute teacher is continuously employed by the district, that is, employed for at least one day of each school year, by the district, provided a substitute teacher is subjected to such checks at least once every five years.

 

  1. Sex Offender Registry Checks

 

School district personnel shall cross-reference the Connecticut Department of Public Safety’s sexual offender registry prior to hiring any new employee.   Registration as a sexual offender constitutes grounds for denial of employment opportunities. 

 

  1. Credit Checks

 

The district may also ask a prospective employee for a credit report for employment for certain district positions, where the district’s receipt of a credit report is substantially related to the employee’s potential job. Substantially related is defined to mean “the information contained in the credit report is related to the position for which the employee or prospective employee who is the subject of the report is being evaluated.”  Prior to asking for a credit report, the district will determine whether the position falls within one of the categories as described in this paragraph.  The position must:  (1) be a managerial position which involves setting the direction or control of the district; (2) involve access to employees’ personal or financial information; (3) involve a fiduciary responsibility to the district, including, but not limited to, the authority to issue payments, collect debts, transfer money or enter into contracts; (4) provide an expense account or district debit or credit card; or (5) involve access to the district’s nonfinancial assets valued at two thousand five dollars or more. 

 

When a credit report will be requested as part of the employment process, the district will provide written notification to prospective employee regarding the use of credit checks.  That notification must be provided in a document separate from the employment application.  The notification must state that the district may use the information in the consumer credit report to make decisions related to the individual’s employment. 

 

The district will obtain consent before performing the credit or other background checks.  If the district intends to takes an action adverse to a potential employee based on the results of a credit report, the district must provide the prospective employee with a copy of the report on which the district relied in making the adverse decision, as well as a copy of “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act,” which should be provided by the company that provides the results of the credit check.  The district will notify the prospective employee either orally, in writing or via electronic means that the adverse action was taken based on the information in the consumer report.  That notice must include the name, address and phone number of the consumer reporting company that supplied the credit report; a statement that the company that supplied the report did not make the decision to take the unfavorable action and cannot provide specific reasons for the district’s actions; and a notice of the person’s right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information the consumer reporting company furnished, and to get an additional free report from the company if the person asks for it within sixty (60) calendar days. 

 

VI.      Notice of Conviction

 

If, at any time, the district receives notice of a conviction of a crime by (1) a person holding a certificate, authorization or permit issued by the State Board of Education, or (2) a person employed by a provider of supplemental services, the district shall send such notice to the State Board of Education. 

 

 

VII.     Personal Online Accounts

 

For purposes of these Administrative Regulations, “personal online account” means any online account that is used by an employee or applicant exclusively for personal purposes and unrelated to any business purpose of the district, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, social media and retail-based Internet web sites.  “Personal online account” does not include any account created, maintained, used or accessed by an employee or applicant for a business purpose of the district.

 

  1. During the course of an employment check, the district may not:

 

  1. request or require that an applicant provide the district with a user name and password, password or any other authentication means for accessing a personal online account;

 

  1. request or require that an applicant authenticate or access a personal online account in the presence of the district; or

 

  1. require that an applicant invite a supervisor employed by the district or accept an invitation from a supervisor employed by the district to join a group affiliated with any personal online account of the applicant.

 

  1. The district may request or require that an applicant provide the district with a user name and password, password or any other authentication means for accessing:

 

  1. any account or service provided by district or by virtue of the applicant’s employment relationship with the district or that the applicant uses for the district’s business purposes, or

 

  1. any electronic communications device supplied or paid for, in whole or in part, by the district.

 

  1. In accordance with applicable law, the district maintains the right to require an applicant to allow the district to access his or her personal online account, without disclosing the user name and password, password or other authentication means for accessing such personal online account, for the purpose of:

 

  1. conducting an investigation for the purpose of ensuring compliance with applicable state or federal laws, regulatory requirements or prohibitions against work-related employee misconduct based on the receipt of specific information about activity on an applicant’s personal online account; or

 

  1. conducting an investigation based on the receipt of specific information about an applicant’s unauthorized transfer of the district’s proprietary information, confidential information or financial data to or from a personal online account operated by an applicant or other source.

 

VIII.    Policy Inapplicable to Certain Individuals

 

This policy shall also not apply to:

 

  1. A student employed by the district who attends a district school.

 

  1. A person employed by the district as a teacher for a noncredit adult class or adult education activity, as defined in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-67, who is not required to hold a teaching certificate pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-145b for his or her position.

 

  1. Falsification of Records.

 

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this policy, the falsification or omission of any information on a job application or in a job interview, including but not limited to information concerning abuse or neglect investigations or pending criminal applications, shall be grounds for disqualification from consideration for employment or discharge from employment.

 

Legal References:           Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-212 

 

                                       Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-221d

 

                                       Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-222c

 

                                       Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-40x

 

                                       Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51i

 

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51tt

 

Public Act 18-51, “An Act Implementing the Recommendations of the Department of Education.”

 

                                       Elementary and Secondary Education Act, reauthorized as the Every Student Succeeds Act, Pub. L. 114-95, codified at 20 U.S.C.§ 1001 et seq.

 

                                       Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq

 

ADOPTED:  December 18, 2018

Approved 12/18/2018
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