Sac State University Policy Manual
Criminal Background Check Policy
Policy Administrator:Vice President for Human Resources
Effective Date:December 19, 2011
Updated: December 9, 2011
Index Cross-References:
Policy File Number:HRS-0134


Criminal records checks help to safeguard security, safety, and health of employees, students, and others as well as the assets and resources of the University.  These checks are part of the University’s screening process and can help identify individuals who may not be suited for employment or appointment.  The following guidelines for conducting these screenings for faculty, staff, managers, consultants, student employees, and volunteers have been developed to balance the rights of individual applicants with the University’s right and responsibility to screen for individuals who may pose a liability risk to the campus community.

These guidelines do not apply to the screening of sworn and non-sworn employees of the University Police Department.  Guidelines and standards for these individuals are Contained in Government Code 1031 et. seq and enforced by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

The term Criminal Records Check will be used throughout this document.  The process uses a Live Scan system.  Live Scan is a system for the electronic submission of applicant/candidate fingerprints in combination with personal descriptor information to central computers at the Department of Justice and the FBI and the subsequent automated criminal records check and response.

Information received through the criminal records check process is considered confidential and will not necessarily disqualify the individual from further consideration or eventual appointment.  The results of any criminal records check will be weighed against the nature and gravity of the incident(s) reported, the time that has passed since the incident, remedial actions taken by the individual, the nature of the position, and the
relationship of the incident(s) to the person’s ability to safely and appropriately perform the duties of the job.

For criminal records checks, only criminal convictions will be considered in determining an individual’s suitability for employment.  Detention and/or arrest without conviction do not constitute valid grounds for employment decisions and cannot play a part in the decision-making process.  However, if an individual has a criminal case pending, his or her suitability for continued employment may be reviewed upon disposition of the case.

The policy does not automatically exclude from consideration for employment all individuals with felony convictions.  Sacramento State shall in no way use this information to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, age, disability, or veterans’ status.

If unreported convictions are revealed by the criminal records check, the offer of employment will generally be withdrawn; and, if employed, the employee may be disqualified for the sensitive position unless the individual shows that the report is in error.  All related information will be treated as confidential and protected as such.

A criminal records check will not be required, at the time this policy becomes effective, on incumbent employees holding sensitive positions either through recruitment, reassignment, or reclassification.  Employees in non-security sensitive positions shall not be subject to this policy.

I.   Required Criminal Records Checks:

Criminal Records Checks are required in the following situations:

  • An off-campus applicant who is under final consideration following normal screening and selection processes for a position that is designated as a security sensitive position. 
  • A volunteer who “performs work or provides services without compensation” which is security sensitive.
  • A special consultant who performs work which is security sensitive. 
  • An external candidate for a non-security sensitive position that admits to a felony conviction and is selected as a final candidate.
  • A Management Personnel Plan (MPP) employee moving to a different job or who holds a temporary position, if the position will be reposted and continue.

II.  Security Sensitive Positions
Security Sensitive Positions are defined as positions and/or classifications that include at least one of the following:

  • Frequent handling of cash and/or access to blank check stock;
  • Direct access to, or control over cash, checks, other cash equivalents, credit cards, and/or credit card account information;
  • Possession of master keys; unrestricted access to residence halls or student housing; access to expensive and/or sensitive equipment;
  • Access to dangerous chemicals, radioactive material;
  • Broad update access to administrative systems;
  • Access to confidential or sensitive records (hard copy and/or electronic) which must be guarded due to proprietary, ethical, or privacy consideration. (Level 1 confidential data) including student, personnel, benefits, medical, donor, alumni, or State Controller’s payroll information;
  • Responsibility for providing child-care, working in a child-care facility, or have access to child-care facility in the course of their duties;
  • Perform job duties in the presence of a minor in a confined room, vehicle or work space without the presence of another adult; or being in the presence of a minor outside the view of another adult within 30 feet.  Position involving work with minors who are not enrolled students of the University;
  • Healthcare providers/practitioners or employees working in a healthcare setting;
  • Assignment requiring driving as an essential function of the job;
  • Other assignment or combination of assignments which would put the University community at risk as determined by Human Resources and the hiring program center.

For a list of positions automatically considered sensitive, please see Appendix A in the Criminal Background Check Procedures and Guidelines Other positions not on this list may be considered sensitive after a review of job assignments.

An external candidate for any position that admits to a felony conviction and is selected as a final candidate will also complete a criminal records check.

The Background Check Worksheet

Criminal Background Check Procedures and Guidelines


Approved by: Alexander Gonzalez, President

Date: December 19, 2011