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2003.Procedure.001 - Background Checks and Criminal History

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Western Dakota Tech Procedure Number: 2003.Procedure.001


I.  Procedure

A.  Criminal Background Checks:

Employees: Any offer of employment is contingent upon the satisfactory outcome of a criminal background check. WDT has the sole discretion to determine whether the outcome of a criminal background check is satisfactory. In making a determination, WDT:

  1. Shall adhere to all applicable federal and state laws that disqualify an individual from employment by the college; and
  2. May consider the conviction of any crime of moral turpitude; and
  3. May consider any criminal conviction, including convictions not disclosed by the applicant.

WDT shall pay any fees charged for the cost of fingerprinting and/or the criminal background investigation for any person who is offered employment contingent of a criminal background check.

Independent Contractors and Volunteers: Any organization that contracts with WDT for service shall be required to certify to WDT, in writing, that individuals employed by the service provider have been subjected to a criminal background check. At the discretion of the president or designee, this requirement may be waived if individuals employed by the service provider do not have contact with students.

B.  Additional Background Checks:

The President or designee is charged with developing, recruiting and hiring procedures that insure all college employees have been subject to relevant background checks, including education and employment history. The college may, at its discretion, require a criminal background check on any volunteer which would be paid by the college. An employee returning to the college requiring a background check following an absence of one year or more of not working for WDT, regardless of reason of the absence, will be required to have a new criminal background check completed prior to direct contact with students under the age of 18.

C.  Financial Background Check:

Any individual employed as WDT’s business official shall, prior to employment, be subject to a financial background check. A financial background check may include a credit check, financial delinquencies, corporate interests and any other examination of the individual’s financial trustworthiness.

Individuals applying for financially sensitive positions will be subject to a financial background check prior to employment.

D.  Change in Criminal History

  1. To assure the protection of persons served, if a current employee is arrested for or charged with a crime, including felonies and gross misdemeanors, or if a supervisor/manager receives credible information regarding possible criminal acts, and the crime or possible crime is related to the employee’s position, the employee will be suspended until final disposition of the charges. If final disposition of the charges does not occur within 60 days from the date of the arrest or charge, WDT will conduct an investigation of the circumstances, which may lead to termination of employment.
  2. An employee will notify WDT in writing of a conviction for a violation of a criminal felony and/or gross misdemeanor drug charge no later than five calendar days after such conviction.
  3. The procedure to determine the employee’s eligibility for employment will be the same as the procedure established for the criminal background check.
  4. An employee who fails to notify his/her supervisor of a change in criminal history during employment, may be terminated.
  5. An employee returning to a position requiring a background check, following an absence of 12 consecutive months of not working, regardless of reason of the absence, will be required to have a new criminal background check completed.

E.  Confidentiality

  1. Information received as the result of this procedure shall remain confidential and shall not be released to any other individual or entity.

II.  Definitions

A.  Criminal Conviction means a verdict that results when a court of law finds a defendant guilty of a

B.  Crime of Moral Turpitude means a conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good Back

C.  Final Disposition of Charges means how a case was finally resolved. This could be through a jury verdict, a dismissal or conviction through a guilty or no contest plea.

D.  Felony means a crime, typically one involving violence, regarded as more serious than a misdemeanor, and usually punishable by imprisonment for more than one year.

E.  Gross Misdemeanor means a crime which is more serious than a regular misdemeanor, but is still classified as a minor crime, as opposed to serious crimes. Such crimes may include petty theft, simple assault or driving under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs. Typically, the maximum sentence is one year in county jail and/or $5,000 in fines.

F.  Sole discretion means the legal ability to hold the deciding power over a given situation.

Legal References:  None        

Board Approved 07/11/2019

Related Policies, Procedures, and Exhibits:
Policy 2003 - Background Checks and Criminal History


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