2.02a Background Investigations - Regulation

Document Type: Regulation
Policy Number: 2.02a
Effective: 09-05-08
Revised: 07-13-09
Legal References: B.M.C. 3-10
I.C. 9-340C
28 C.F.R. Part 20



All offers of employment are conditioned on an individual successfully passing the city’s background investigation. Additionally, this regulation applies to volunteers as outlined in the city’s volunteer policy and regulation.

A background investigation may include one or more of the following:

A. Criminal History Check - At its discretion the city may conduct a criminal history check on all applicants receiving a conditional job offer or volunteers regardless of age. This check provides information regarding such things as warrants, civil and criminal filings, and driving records.

B. Fingerprint Check – The city conducts fingerprint checks on all applicants receiving a conditional job offer and Tier II volunteers 18 years of age or older. This check provides information regarding state and national criminal history records.

C. Polygraph Examination - The city conducts polygraph examinations on positions assigned to the Police Department.

D. Miscellaneous Checks - For certain jobs additional or heightened background investigations are conducted. For example, security threat assessments are conducted on positions assigned to the airport. For jobs with access to Criminal Justice Information, the city is required to apply strict screening requirements. For jobs involving significant financial accountability, the city may request a consumer report for employment purposes. This may include, but is not limited to, information regarding the applicant’s credit worthiness, credit standing, and/or credit capacity. Positions designated safety-sensitive require a verified negative drug test.

Additionally, based on the required education qualifications of a position,
the city may request a verification of education.


Without approval from the Department Director or designee and Human Resources, applicants shall not begin work and volunteers shall not begin service until after successfully passing all of the background investigations applicable to the position they will hold. Applicants that do not successfully pass these investigations are ineligible for hire or continued employment and the city’s conditional offer of employment will be retracted.

The city may charge applicants for all or a portion of the cost of the background investigations based upon the salary grade of the position offered to the applicant. Volunteers are not charged for these investigations.


The city retains sole discretion to determine whether to eliminate from consideration for employment or volunteer service any individual who provides false, misleading, or willfully deceptive information. Employees hired based on false information discovered after employment begins are subject to discipline, up to and including termination. Volunteers may be dismissed from service at any time.


All current employees transferring, promoting, moving from temporary to regular status, or being reassigned on a non-temporary basis into a position where the responsibilities require working with minors or individuals with disabilities will be required to undergo a criminal history check and fingerprinting if these did not occur upon hire. Additionally, if the transfer, promotion, move or reassignment requires a polygraph, security threat assessment, CJIS access, credit check, drug test, or education verification, these miscellaneous background check requirements must be met before an employee can assume their new duties. At the discretion of the Department Director and Human Resources an employee can begin the new duties before the results of these various checks are received.


Former employees who underwent a fingerprint check when they were hired and who return to work for the city within six months or less of active paid employment with the city are not required to undergo an additional fingerprint check but are required to undergo a criminal history check. Former employees returning to work for the city after six months are subject to the regular criminal history check and fingerprinting processes. The same rules apply to volunteers who are required to undergo these checks due to the type of volunteer service they provide.


Applicants, volunteers, or employees are not automatically disqualified from employment or volunteer service based on their criminal record. The city performs a targeted screen when an individual has a criminal record. The targeted screen involves the following considerations:

A. The nature and gravity of the offense or conduct;

B. The number of offenses and convictions;

C. The time that has passed since the offense, conduct, and/or completion of the sentence; and

D. The type of offense or conviction relative to the position being sought.

Because of the city’s role and the importance of its reputation in the community, a detailed review is performed for individuals with felony convictions or felony or misdemeanor convictions related to sexual misconduct, violence, or crimes against children or a vulnerable adult.

Prior to excluding an individual based on a criminal record, the city will give an individual the opportunity to share the following information:

1. Whether the individual was correctly identified in the criminal record and that the record is otherwise accurate;

2. The circumstances surrounding the offense or conduct;

3. The length and consistency of employment prior to and since the offense or conduct;

4. Their age at the time of conviction or release from incarceration; (duplicate of C)

5. Employment or character references and any other information regarding fitness for the specific position;

6. Rehabilitation efforts, such as education, treatment, payment of restitution, or any other factors that evidence rehabilitation

The city will also review the falsification or omission of information on the application form and other supplemental forms submitted.

The term “conviction” includes: a guilty plea; "no contest" or similar plea; plea agreement where probation or restitution was or was not required; a sealed record according to Section 19-2604, Idaho Code, or other equivalent state law or similar result; suspension; commutation; pre-trial diversion; withheld or deferred judgment; bail forfeiture; or guilty finding.

If an applicant or volunteer is identified as having a pending criminal action for a crime, the city may consider this as disqualifying.

The city retains sole discretion to disqualify anyone from employment or volunteer service.


Certain departments and positions in the city have access to, or work in support of, criminal justice information and services (CJIS). The CJIS Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has strict security requirements regarding CJIS access. Applicants, volunteers, and employees whose positions have access to unencrypted CJIS, including physical or logical access to devices that store, process, or transmit unencrypted CJIS, must undergo an additional fingerprint-based background check in accordance with the CJIS Division of the FBI requirements.

Felony Conviction:

1. Applicants, volunteers, or employees with a felony conviction of any kind will be denied CJIS access. In extenuating circumstances, when the severity of the offense and the time that has passed would support a possible variance, the city can submit a written request to the CJIS Systems Officer (CSO) at Idaho State Police to review the conviction and determine if access is appropriate. If the CSO determines that access to CJIS is not in the public’s best interest, access will be denied.

2. A felony conviction shall continue to be considered a felony conviction regardless of whether the conviction is later reduced to a misdemeanor conviction under Section 19-2604, Idaho Code, or any other comparable statute or procedure, where the reduction is based upon lenity or the furtherance of rehabilitation rather than upon any defect in the legality or factual basis of the felony conviction.

Misdemeanor Conviction:

1. Applicants, volunteers, or employees convicted of any misdemeanor sex crime, crime of deceit, or drug offense within the past five years shall be denied access to CJIS.

2. If an applicant, volunteer, or employee has any other misdemeanor conviction the city, with knowledge of the facts and circumstances concerning the offense or violation, can submit a written request to the CSO at Idaho State Police and request CJIS access. If the CSO determines that access to CJIS is not in the public’s best interest, access will be denied.


If a current employee with access to CJIS is subsequently arrested and/or convicted of a crime, access to CJIS shall be immediately revoked. The city will review the criminal charges to determine if any city policies have been violated. Depending on the nature and severity of the charge, the employee could be placed on administrative Leave, temporarily reassigned to another position not requiring CJIS access, or terminated, until such time it can be determined if access to CJIS should be allowed. In the event an employee with access to CJIS is arrested, it is the employee’s responsibility to notify their supervisor of the charge/offense as soon as possible. Failure to do so could result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.


Individuals with access to a Security Identification Display Area (SIDA) at the city’s airport are required to pass the standards that the Transportation Security Agency sets in addition to the city’s background check requirements.

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