Human Resources

POLICY UPDATE: Hiring Process Changes

On March 13, 2018, Governor Inslee signed HB 1298 establishing the Washington Fair Chance Act, making Washington the 11th state to require both public- and private-sector employers to delay background checks and inquiries about job applicants’ conviction records until the individual has first had an opportunity to present his or her qualifications for the job.

According to the National Employment Law Center, more than one in five adults in Washington State—disproportionately people of color—have a conviction or arrest record that can show up on a routine criminal background check for employment. The Fair Chance Act will help ensure that these 1.2 million people are judged by their qualifications and work experience, and not reflexively rejected by employers at the start of the hiring process.

As a result of this change, UW is changing the timing of when a candidate is asked for their criminal conviction history and removing notice of background check requirements from campus job postings.

The law provides for exclusions when an employer is hiring a person who will or may have unsupervised access to children under the age of eighteen or a vulnerable adult which includes ALL medical centers positions.

Please note that Academic HR is determining if and how this law may impact any faculty recruitments.

Campus Positions:

If a campus position is considered safety/security sensitive, the notice that the position requires a criminal conviction history background check will no longer be included in the job posting and the candidate will only receive the criminal conviction history assessment by email after the Total Talent Management Recruitment and Staffing or UTemp teams have determined that the candidate meets the qualifications for the position to which they have applied.

Student Jobs:

The Criminal Conviction & Civil Finding History Questionnaire should no longer be used and has been removed from the UWHR forms webpage. For student positions that are not filled through UWHIRES, it is appropriate to continue to request completion of the Background Check Authorization for Students and Volunteers, provided this occurs after minimum qualifications have been assessed.

Medical Centers Positions:

Because all Medical Centers positions are considered to possible have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable populations, the criminal conviction history questions will continue to be asked at time of application. There is no change to this process.

UWHIRES and the Hiring Process web pages have been updated in support of this new law that goes into effect  June 7, 2018.