AR 7126: Applicant Background Checks

In a continuing effort to ensure the safety and welfare of students and staff, Mt. Hood Community College requires criminal records checks, reference checks, and depending on the position,  credit checks and  fingerprinting for the following:

  • All newly hired full-time and part-time employees, including student and temporary employees;
  • All employees rehired after a break in service;
  • All employees moving into a new position where the new position requires a more comprehensive background check than the position into which the employee was originally hired; and
  • Regular volunteers assigned to ongoing positions involving the handling of money, access to confidential and/or sensitive information, working with students, safety-sensitive assignments, or working without ongoing direct supervision.

Final candidates are required to complete a criminal background check after a contingent offer of employment is made and prior to being issued an official offer of employment. Final candidates for positions with substantial financial access and authority may also be required to complete a credit check after a contingent offer of employment is made and prior to being issued an official offer of employment. Candidates must sign a release form or online certification and release as part of the online application process, authorizing the college to conduct a background check.

The college will use the information from the criminal background report in conjunction with the following factors to determine an applicant’s eligibility for employment:

  1. The passage of time since the commission of the crime(s);
  2. Nature of the crime(s);
  3. Relationship between the job to be performed and the crime(s) committed;
  4. Number of convictions; and
  5. Rehabilitation efforts.

Factors to be considered in reviewing the relationship between the job to be performed and the crime committed include, but are not limited to, the following: handling money; authorization to use college purchasing and credit cards; direct unsupervised contact with minors under the age of 18 or persons with developmental disabilities; working with data-sensitive information; working in security-sensitive positions such as information technology positions or any position issued master keys to college facilities; and working in safety-sensitive positions such as operating dangerous equipment or machinery.

  • Direct unsupervised contact means contact with children (under age 18) or developmentally disabled persons that provides the employee opportunity and probability for personal communication or touch.
  • Data-sensitive information means employees’ or students’ social security numbers, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, medical information, personal financial information, or criminal background information.
  • Safety-sensitive means a hazardous or dangerous position, such as a position requiring the operation of equipment or machinery.

Approval of candidates with criminal records shall be made by the associate vice president of human resources.

Generally, the applicant may not begin work or be unconditionally hired before completion and approval of the criminal background check. The opportunity to become employed or transfer into a qualified position will terminate immediately for all prospective employees considered ineligible according to the criteria set forth above.

If an applicant is determined to be preliminarily disqualified based on the above guidelines, the college will provide written notice to the applicant of the disqualifying information in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and will provide the applicant five days from delivery, or attempted delivery of such notice, to dispute the information contained in the report or submit information regarding mitigating circumstances that should be considered before a final decision is made.

Any false statement made by an applicant during the interview process, or at any other time during the application process, or refusal to submit or consent to a criminal background check will disqualify the applicant from any employment consideration. In such cases, applicants are eligible to reapply and be reconsidered after one year.

Approved: 12/1/1992
Revised: 11/10/1998, 5/6/2008, 9/22/2009, 3/28/2023
  • U.S. Code Sections 1681 et seq. (Fair Credit Reporting Act)
  • ORS 659A.360