FAQ on CALS criminal background checks

UW-Madison must comply with Board of Regent policy 20-19 that mandates that all UW institutions conduct a criminal background check on all new employees (with limited exceptions). This policy went into effect December 1, 2007.A Criminal background check will be mandatory for all newly hired appointments for:

  • Faculty
  • Academic Staff
  • Classified Permanent and Project
  • Limited
  • Teaching Assistants and Project Assistants
  • LTE, student hourly or employee-in-training if the position is a position of trust or is required to have a check by law.
  • Current employees who accept a different position on this campus that requires a background check by law or is considered a position of trust will require a criminal background check.

Positions that require a criminal background check by law although are not a new hire include:

  • Fiduciary responsibilities
  • Covered by the Wisconsin Caregiver Law
  • Interact with vulnerable population
  • Has access rights access to Select Agents

A position of trust is one that:

  • Has an Executive Role
  • Has property access
  • Works with a vulnerable population

Who will perform the check?

  • CALS Human Resources will be utilizing the HireRight system or and/or the State of Wisconsin Department of Justice search

What happens to the check?

  • CALS Human Resources will only reveal when someone has a conviction if there is a substantial relationship between the conviction and the position the person is being hired for.
  • A substantial relationship or not will be determined by CALS Human Resources in consultation with Office of Human Resources and Administrative Legal Services.

Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent allowed by law. Background checks are subject to open records requests.

  • When will checks be done?
  • BEFORE making the offer.
  • We must have authorization from the applicant and have reviewed their resume prior to doing a criminal background check.

What are the fees associated with this?

  • Social Security verification that includes a Social Security Validation and a Social Security Trace($5)
  • State of Wisconsin Only
  • Department of Justice ($5)
  • Wisconsin Court System (free)
  • Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry (free)
  • National Search
  • National Search and State Sex Offender with Social Security Validation ($35.50)
  • Social Security Trace
  • State Sex Offender (current state of residence)

Beware of surcharges!

  • Some states charge a fee for background checks (Ex. Wisconsin-$5, New York-$65). These fees will be added on to the cost as they are incurred.

Who pays for the checks?

  • Charged to the department making the hire
  • Faculty hires will be charged to the College