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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Background Check Policy

General Information

Who is subject to a background check?

All offers of employment extended to external candidates are contingent upon successful completion of a background check. This includes candidates for management and professional (M&P) positions, clerical and technical (C&T) positions, service and maintenance (S&M) positions, casual service and maintenance positions, postdoctoral/postgraduate fellows and associates, and, beginning March 15, 2013, all temporary employees.

Certain positions require internal candidates to have a background check, such as Credit or Motor Vehicle History Report.

Specific guidelines apply to each group and are described in related sections below. For a brief overview of these guidelines, please see the Background Check Summary.

Who conducts the background checks?

Yale’s current vendor, HireRight, conducts background checks under the direction of Yale Human Resources for new hires, casual employees, and postdoctoral/postgraduate fellows and associates. Background checks for temporary services are conducted by the vendor.

How long does a background check take?

The estimated cycle time for a routine background check is about 2 to 10 days.

What information is verified as part of a background check?

At a minimum, the background check will include a criminal history check as well as verification of social security number. Verification of previous employment, verification of education, motor vehicle checks and credit checks may also be required.

How does the University protect an individual's right to privacy?

Yale University policy, as well as state and federal laws, recognizes a subject’s right to privacy and prohibits campus employees and others from seeking out, using, or disclosing personal information except within the scope of their assigned duties.

For background checks conducted by Yale’s vendor, HireRight, Human Resources serves as the office of record for the background check results and maintains strict confidentiality. Departments do not receive any details of the background check, only a notification of whether the results do or do not meet Yale policy.

New Hires

Why does Yale conduct a pre-employment screening?

Yale conducts a pre-employment screening for final candidates in order to ensure that the University continues to hire the most qualified candidates. Yale joins the major employers in the area who have a pre-employment screening program in place.

Do employees that were hired before June 18, 2007 have to undergo pre-employment screenings?

No, employees hired before June 18, 2007 do not have to undergo pre-employment screenings. However, internal transfers and promotions into certain positions may be required to complete a specialized screening such as a motor vehicle or a credit check.

What does a pre-employment screening check consist of?

The standard pre-employment screening will include, but not be limited to, a social security verification, criminal history check, employment verification and an educational verification. Motor vehicle and credit checks may be required based on position descriptions and job requirements.

When does the pre-employment screening process take place?

Candidates give authorization for the pre-employment screening at the time they register and apply for a position through the STARS gateway. During the extension of the job offer, the staffing representative will notify the candidate of the pre-employment screening requirement and a background check form will be filled out by the candidate. HireRight is the background check vendor. They will take about 2 to 10 days to complete the check.

How long are the results of a pre-employment screening valid?

An employee, postdoctoral/postgraduate fellow or associate, casual employee, or temporary employee will only need to have a new background check if the individual has a break in service for more than six months or the individual moves into a position that requires an additional credit or motor vehicle check.

What forms are associated with the pre-employment screening program?

A candidate that has been identified as a final candidate for a position is required to submit an online background check form within Yale’s STARS system.

This form will be emailed to the candidate. However, once the candidate accepts the offer, an online consent form from HireRight is emailed to the candidate, which will fulfill Yale’s pre-employment screening requirement.

The hiring manager does not need to complete any paperwork. Candidates will also receive the Summary of Your Rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act for their records.

How will the candidate and the hiring department learn of the status of the screening?

Once the screening is complete, HireRight will notify Human Resources with the results. A Human Resources representative will contact the candidate and the hiring department via e-mail. Candidates may also log in to HireRight to track their status.

What happens if a candidate does not meet Yale policy for employment?

If someone does not meet Yale policy, the offer of employment will be rescinded. In this event, HireRight will mail the candidate a letter outlining the results of the background check. The candidate then has an opportunity to dispute HireRight's findings. The position must be held open for 7 days or until the dispute is complete.

How does the dispute process work?

HireRight, Yale's pre-employment screening vendor, processes any and all disputes. HireRight will send the candidate an Adverse Action Letter that will outline the results of the background check and will outline instructions for how to dispute these findings if they are incorrect. For further information about an Adverse Action letter, please direct your queries to:

HireRight
Customer Service
Phone: 866-521-6995

What happens if the results of my pre-employment screening have a discrepancy or review is required?

If HireRight finds that results have discrepancies and will require further review, the candidate's application will be referred to the Yale Pre-employment Review Committee which will review HireRight's findings. The review committee will make a decision based on their findings and Yale's employment policies whether the offer of employment will be extended or withdrawn.

What constitutes a successful background check?

All felonies and some misdemeanors need to be reviewed by the Review Committee at Yale. Positions that entail driving will require a motor vehicle check and positions that entail the handling of money will require a credit check. Most library and museum, Controller's Office and Security positions also require credit checks. Accurate representation on resumes of work and education is mandatory; falsification will not meet Yale policy.

Who is on the review committee?

It is comprised of members from General Counsel, Risk Management and Human Resources.

Who do I contact if I have a question about the process or the status of my background check?

An email can be sent to preemploymentscreening@yale.edu and a member of the Pre-employment Screening Team will respond.

Postdoctoral/Postgraduate Fellows and Associates

Will current postdoctoral/postgraduate fellows and associates require background checks?

No. The background check applies to postdoctoral/postgraduate fellows and associates hired on January 1, 2010 and after. However, if a current Postdoc/grad is changing job titles or transferring departments and they have not had a standard background check, then they will be required to complete the check. Also, a current Postdoc/grad who is being rehired into some lab, but has not had a check, will be required to complete a standard check.

Will postdoctoral/postgraduate fellows and associates hired on or after January 1, 2010, require a background check?

Yes. Beginning January 1, 2010, all candidates for postdoctoral/postgraduate fellow and associate positions who have lived or worked in the United States and have a United States Social Security number will be required to successfully complete a background check before starting work at Yale. The only exceptions will be if they are a current Yale graduate student going to a Yale Postdoctoral assignment.

What if a postdoctoral/postgraduate fellow or associate has never lived or worked in the United States?

Yale can only complete a background check for someone who at one time has either lived or worked in the United States and has a United States Social Security number. All postdoctoral and postgraduate fellows and associates who have never lived or worked in the United States need to successfully complete a federal background check to obtain a work visa; this government background check is sufficient to meet Yale's requirements.  

How are background checks processed for postdoctoral/postgraduate fellows and associates?

The following steps are required to process a background check for a postdoctoral/postgraduate fellow or associate:

NOTE: A background check is required for all candidates who are either U.S. Citizens, U.S. Permanent Residents, or who are currently in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa and have a United States Social Security number. (A candidate outside the U. S. who requires a U.S. visa will be considered to have met Yale policy on background check upon issuance of the visa.)

  1. Faculty Member/Principal Investigator is in contact with potential candidate.
  2. Faculty Member/Principal Investigator notifies department of intention to bring on a postdoctoral/postgraduate fellow or associate as soon as practical.
  3. If a candidate requires a transfer of his/her immigration status to Yale, the department immediately contacts the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS).
  4. Department sends candidate an offer letter as well as request for documents, and completes the Postdoc/Postgrad Background Check Request Form http://www.yale.edu/hronline/stars/feedback/postdoc_background_check.html

Postdoc Postgrad Background Check Request.bmp

After the Background Check Request Form is completed, click the “Submit” button to send this form to the Background Check Coordinator (BGC Coordinator.)

  1. Upon receipt of this form, the BGC Coordinator sends the candidate an e-mail from HireRight to complete the necessary forms to conduct the background check.
  2. After the completed and signed forms are submitted by candidate, the background check is initiated. If the candidate has not submitted the completed forms, the BGC Coordinator will send an e-mail to the primary departmental contact.
  3. Once the BGC Coordinator receives the outcome, and if candidate meets Yale policy, the BGC Coordinator notifies primary department contact via e-mail.
    • If the candidate requires a transfer of his/her immigration status to Yale, departments must forward to OISS this e-mail confirming that the individual meets Yale policy. OISS will not submit the application to the immigration service until this confirmation is received.

    • Should a candidate not meet Yale policy, that information will be communicated to the department by the BGC Coordinator.
  1. The department sends documentation to the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs, including the e-mail confirmation from the BGC Coordinator that the candidate meets Yale Policy.
  2. Postdoctoral/Postgraduate is hired.

Temporary Employees

Will current temporary employees require a background check?

Temporary employees hired prior to January 1, 2010 who are active in Yale’s database (Oracle) will not be required to complete a background check to continue working. However, they will be required to complete a background check in the future if any of the following circumstances apply:

  • The temporary assignment changes.
  • The individual’s Yale ID expires and/or the individual requires new or additional access to his/her current access.
  • Temporary employees who have worked here in the past but were terminated more than six months prior.

Will temporary employees require a background check?

Yes. A temporary employee hired on or after March 15, 2013, will be required to successfully complete a standard background check prior to beginning their assignment.

Do Yale retirees returning to work at Yale require a background check?

No. Returning retirees do not require background checks.

Does a returning temporary employee who has previously completed a background check require a new background check?

If a temporary employee has a break in service of more than six months, he/she will be required to have a new background check completed if he/she needs to obtain a Yale ID or will be working more than 30 days per year.

If the temporary employee has a break in service of less than six months the individual could still be subject to a credit and/or a motor vehicle check if the assignment requires these additional checks.

Does a returning temporary employee who has not completed a background check require a background check?

Yes. The returning temporary employee will need to successfully complete a background check prior to beginning their assignment.

How are background checks requested/processed for temporary employees?

The following steps are required to process a background check for a temporary employee:

  1. Departments with temporary needs are to submit a temporary request to Staffing by completing the Temporary Requisition Submittal Form http://www.yale.edu/hronline/temporary-employment/start.html
  2. After the requisition is processed through Staffing and approved, the position will be “Opened”. Members of the requisition team will receive such notification.
  3. Both the hiring manager and the primary requisition contact will receive an e-Link to the Temporary Worker Data Collection form.
  4. After the form is completed, and the “save” button is selected, the form returns to Staffing for processing.
  5. At the current time, the Staffing office creates a candidate profile if one does not already exist for your temporary worker and initiates the background check promptly. There is no additional request form needed from the department. For additional reference on the temporary process, visit the link referenced above.
  6. The BGC Coordinator sends the candidate an e-mail from HireRight to complete a profile as well as the necessary forms to conduct the background check. If the BGC Coordinator does not receive the information from the candidate in a timely manner, the BGC Coordinator will inform the primary department contact.
  7. After the completed forms are submitted and signed by candidate to HireRight, the background check is initiated.
  8. Once the BGC Coordinator receives the outcome, and if candidate meets Yale policy, the BGC Coordinator notifies the primary department contact via e-mail.
  9. The temporary employee may begin working and obtain their Yale ID.

If a temporary employee works less than thirty (30) days per year, does the individual need a background check?

Yes. As of March 15, 2013, all temporary employees will need to successfully complete a background check prior to beginning their assignment.

Are there any exceptions to the background check requirement for temporary employees hired after March 15, 2013?

Yes, the following individuals will not require a background check regardless of the length of time they will be working:

  • Retiree temporaries
  • Yale Student temporary employees

Will a Yale student temporary who will be graduating soon need to complete a background check if the individual continues working beyond graduation?

Yes, a background check will be required when a Yale student temporary employee becomes a regular temporary employee.

If a temporary employee is hired into a permanent position, will the individual be required to complete a background check?

If a temporary employee has not previously completed a standard background check then the individual will need to do so prior to starting as a regular employee. If the temporary employee has completed a background check, and has not had a break in service of greater than six months since that check was completed, then the individual will not be required to complete a new background check. However, depending on the job requirements, it is possible that additional background checks (such as motor vehicle or credit check) may be required.

What happens if it is determined that the temporary employee does not meet Yale's standards?

The temporary employee will need to be immediately terminated. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that hiring departments submit the Requisition Submittal form as promptly as they know the temporary assignment will be taking place.