HUMAN RESOURCES

Effective Date: 06/01/06 Latest Revised Date: 08/09/04

Policy Statement 2: Employment Policies (SPA/CSS)


Recruitment and Selection

The Department of Human Resources has the responsibility for establishing recruitment and selection policies and procedures for SPA and Clinical Support Services (CSS) positions at East Carolina University. These policies are within the guidelines set forth in the North Carolina State Personnel Manual and in adherence with the University Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action policies. Clinical Support Services positions are those identified as part of the Medical Faculty Practice Plan and are not subject to the Personnel Act. A CSS Human Resource system has been created to develop policies and procedures that will improve recruitment and retention efforts in this area. Employees in these positions do receive the same benefits as SPA employees in regard to retirement plan, health insurance, vacation, etc. A separate policy section has been developed to outline the CSS Human Resources System. Refer to Policy Statement 14.

  1. Posting and Announcement of Vacancies

    1. The department where the vacancy exists completes a Job Vacancy Requisition (Form P-84), and forwards to the Department of Human Resources through the respective Vice Chancellor's Office to advertise the vacancy. All vacancy narratives are reviewed and modified as necessary to comply with state specifications for the designated job classification.

    2. Each position is posted on the SPA/CSS Job Announcements (Purple Sheet) for a minimum of seven (7) workdays. The Job Announcements are also available on the ECU website.

    3. The SPA/CSS Job Announcements are updated daily and include a closing date which indicates the last date that applications will be accepted.

    4. If departmental management desires additional recruitment beyond the minimum of seven workdays, this should be indicated on the Job Vacancy Requisition (Form P-84) and/or coordinated through Employment Services, Department of Human Resources. In the event that recruitment is desired, the hiring department is strongly encouraged to consider the opportunity for Affirmative Action recruitment. The Associate EEO Officer will be available to advise you of specific Affirmative Action publications.

    5. The morning after the vacancy has closed, an Employment counselor will review the applications to assure that applicants meet the minimum requirements for the position and are thereby qualified. Once the applicant pool has been screened, the hiring department may pick up the pool and begin the interview process. If, however, departmental management does not feel that the applicant pool is sufficient at the time of the initial review, a special request may be made to an Employment representative to continue advertising for the vacancy. If by such special request, the position continues to be advertised after the initial screening, the applicant pool must be reviewed a second time prior to submitting a hiring recommendation to the Department of Human Resources.

    6. Once the position is removed from the vacancy list, a hiring recommendation must be forwarded to the Department of Human Resources within 30 days in order to insure that the applicant pool is current.

  2. Reviewing and Screening Applications

    1. All applications for SPA/CSS position vacancies are received in the Department of Human Resources. Applications may not be received in the department where the vacancy exists. If an applicant contacts the department, he/she should be immediately referred to the Department of Human Resources.

    2. After the closing date has passed, a representative from the hiring department picks up the applicant pool from Employment Services.

    3. The hiring department will evaluate the credentials of all applicants and select those applicants who appear most qualified to be interviewed. Only the most qualified applicants should be considered for interview. Each applicant's training, skill, and work experience will be evaluated based upon essential requirements of the job as specified in the job vacancy narrative and job description. Management is responsible for determining the vacancy-specific qualifications that are an addition to the minimum class standards. Such qualification requirements must bear a logical and job-related relationship to the minimum standard. Management will be responsible for the adverse effects resulting from the use of qualification standards that are unreasonably construed.

    4. Only applicants who appear on the Human Resources generated Screening Report may be considered candidates for the vacancy.

    5. If after initial screening and interviewing, the hiring department desires to consider additional applicants, the position can be re-listed for a minimum of three days

    6. The Screening Report must be completed indicating which applicants will be interviewed. All applicants are listed on the Screening Report.

  3. Making the Selection Decision

    1. Interviewing - A minimum of two (2) applicants must be interviewed for each vacancy. Each candidate must be treated equally and it is strongly recommended that a structured set of questions is asked of each candidate.

    2. Reference Checking - Personal and professional references may be checked either before or after the interview process. Reference checking is an effective way to verify the applicants' employment history, work habits, interpersonal skills, etc. and may be conducted either in person, over the telephone, or by a mailed inquiry. Reference sources and information received is strictly confidential.

    3. Testing - No testing is permissible as a part of the pre-employment selection process. It is required by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that all tests administered to job applicants to screen their qualification for employment must be validated to ensure that the test is not discriminatory. Because of the complexities involved in acquiring a validated test for such purposes, the University does not administer any employment tests. Instead, a judgment should be made on the applicant's qualifications based upon information given on the application, reference reports, and interview.

    4. Minimum Qualifications - The employee or applicant must possess at least the minimum education and experience requirements, or their equivalent, set forth in the class specification of the vacancy being filled. Those applications, which appear to not meet the minimum qualifications, will be screened out by an Employment Counselor prior to the hiring department receiving the pool of applications. This applies to new appointments, promotions, reassignments, demotions, transfers, and reinstatements. The education and experience requirements serve as indicators of the possession of the skills, knowledge's, and abilities which have been shown through job evaluation to be important to successful performance, and as a guide to primary sources of recruitment. It is recognized that a specific quantity of formal education or number of years experience does not always guarantee possession of the necessary skills, knowledge's, and abilities for every position. Qualifications necessary to perform successfully may be attained in a variety of combinations. In evaluating qualifications, reasonable substitutions of formal education and job-related experience may be made. The final determination of qualifications in questionable selection situations rests with the Department of Human Resources.

    5. Special Applicant Considerations

      (1) Priority Reemployment Consideration - State employees who have received notification of imminent separation due to reduction-in-force (RIF) or been removed from a Policy-making/confidential exempt position (political appointment), for reasons other than cause, are afforded priority reemployment consideration under the State Personnel Act. When a vacancy occurs, it is the responsibility of the Department of Human Resources to identify any applicants with this priority and to notify the departmental manager where the vacancy exists.

      (2) Veteran's Preference - State law requires that employment preference be given to veterans, widows of veterans, and wives of disabled veterans. This information must be provided on the employment application to grant such preference. The University may ask for verifying documentation from the applicant if needed.

      (3) Promotional Priority - Promotional priority consideration is provided to all current State employees who have achieved career status. If a current State employee applies and is qualified for another state position of a higher pay grade, and has substantially equal qualifications as those of the highest ranking applicant who is not a state employee, the state employee may receive the job offer. "Qualifications" within the meaning of this section include training and education, years of related work experience, and other skills, knowledge, and abilities demonstrated in the selection process which bear a reasonable functional relationship to the requirements of the position to which applied. "Substantially equal qualifications" occur when a reasonable determination cannot be made that the job-related qualifications held by one person are significantly better suited for the position than the job-related qualifications held by another person.

      (4) Affirmative Action - See Policy Statement 4

      (5) Employment of Relatives - Persons considered for employment or promotion will be selected on the basis of training and experience and other characteristics that best suit the individual to the job to be performed. If conditions are such that it is necessary for relatives to be considered, the following Policy will apply: (a) Two members of an immediate family may not be employed within the same department or division if such employment will result in one supervising a member of his/her immediate family or where one member occupies a position which has influence over the other's employment, promotion, salary administration and other related management or personnel considerations; (b) Two members of an immediate family may not be employed or assigned to work in the same organizational unit regardless of the organizational structure or reporting relationship. The organizational unit may be defined as a group of University employees assigned to an area where responsibility for its operation has been delegated to one individual who has authority to hire, fire, and discipline employees within that unit. The term "immediate family" shall be understood to refer to that degree of closeness of relationship which would suggest that problems might be created within the work unit, or that the public's philosophy of fair play in providing equal opportunity for employment to all qualified individuals would be violated. In general, this would include wife, husband, mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, grandmother, grandfather, grandson, granddaughter. Also included are the step-, half-, and in-law relationships as appropriate based on the above listing. It might also include others living within the same household or otherwise so closely identified with each other as to suggest difficulty.

      (6) Age Limitations - The minimum employment age is eighteen. Law Enforcement Officers must be at least twenty-one years of age. There is no maximum age for employment. An applicant who is at least 16 but less than 18 years of age is considered a minor and may be employed with a temporary appointment only if an Employment Certificate is procured from the County Social Services Department. A minor's employment, work assignment, work conditions, pay and hours of work are covered by complex, stringent Child Labor Laws. Therefore, the employment of a minor must be closely coordinated with the Department of Human Resources to insure compliance with applicable laws. Under no circumstances will the University employ anyone under 16 years of age.

  4. Extension of Employment Offer

    1. Once the hiring department has completed the selection process and a hiring decision is made, a Personnel Recommendation (One Form) is forwarded to the Department of Human Resources via the appropriate Vice Chancellor Office, Division Head's office and Budget Office.

    2. The Personnel Recommendation (One Form) must include a salary request which is subject to review and approval by the Department of Human Resources. Refer to Section 9 Salary Administration for specific details. Any questions regarding salary determinations should be directed to an Employment representative in the Department of Human Resources. If the salary request exceeds the current budgeted amount of the position, notation should be made on the One Form form that budget approval has been received.

    3. The Personnel Recommendation must be accompanied by the Screening Report and a copy of the employment application for each candidate listed on the Screening Report. The Screening Report should include a coded reason for non-selection for each applicant not selected, including those interviewed.

    4. Once the hiring recommendation is received in the Employment Services unit of Department of Human Resources, it must be reviewed and approved by the Associate EEO Officer and an Employment Counselor.

    5. Only the Department of Human Resources is authorized to extend an offer of employment to a person who will occupy an SPA position. The candidate will be notified that he/she has 48 hours to respond to the offer of employment. When the candidate notifies Human Resources of his/her decision, the Employment Counselor will inform the hiring department of the new employee's acceptance or declination of the position by the recommended candidate. Any salary negotiations will be handled by the Department of Human Resources based upon consultation with the hiring department.

    6. The Department of Human Resources will confirm by letter the employment offer, indicating the type of appointment, job classification, beginning salary, and the first day of work plus any other condition on which the job offer was contingent. A copy of the commitment letter will be forwarded to the department head and/or supervisor.

 

Criminal Background Report Procedure Rationale


Due to the compressed labor market and low unemployment rate, it is becoming more and more difficult to develop highly qualified applicant pools for many positions. We are also finding that many applicants are providing incomplete information on their applications. Recent national statistics show that 45% of all job applicants misrepresent information at least once on their applications. When this involves criminal history, we are particularly concerned because employee related crime is statistically 10 times greater than street crime.


In order to help provide a safe learning and work environment for our students, staff and faculty, the Department of Human Resources is establishing the following procedure through which a criminal background report will be acquired for any applicant who is not a current ECU employee and who has also been selected as a final candidate of choice for any SPA, Clinical Support Services (CSS) and non-teaching EPA position vacancy at ECU.


Procedure

Employment material to include the Job Vacancy Listing, website, and employment applications will advise applicants that a criminal background report will be completed on the individual who is selected as the candidate of choice for any SPA, CSS and non-teaching EPA position vacancy at the University.


All applicants who complete an application for employment for any SPA or CSS position at ECU are required to answer the question, "Have you ever been convicted of any unlawful offense (other than a minor traffic violation)". The employment application contains a disclaimer that states, "A criminal record does not necessarily eliminate you from employment with the University. Any conviction will be reviewed with respect to the offense, circumstances, seriousness, and the position for which you apply".


The procedures will be as follows:

 

  1. For SPA & CSS positions: During the interview process, the hiring official should have any external (non-ECU) candidate complete the "Disclosure/Authorization Statement" form that is included in the Applicant Pool packet. Once a final candidate has been selected and the finalist is NOT a current ECU employee, the hiring department should immediately forward or fax a copy of the "Disclosure/Authorization Statement" form to the Employment Services Unit (Employment Services, 210 East First Street; fax number 328-4191) in the Department of Human Resources where the criminal background report will be initiated.

  2. For Non-teaching EPA positions: The electronic job listing for non-teaching EPA position vacancies will reference the fact that a criminal background report must be completed for finalists who are not currently employed by ECU. The hiring authority should also notify all new applicants that are being considered for on-campus interviews, that a criminal background report will be acquired as a final condition of employment. The candidate’s full name, social security number, and his or her date of birth generally is not included on the resumes or vitas that non-teaching EPA applicants submit as part of the application process. That being the case, a sample non-teaching EPA letter of offer (attachment A), has been provided that includes a mechanism for obtaining the necessary data and makes it clear to the applicant that the offer of employment is contingent upon the results of the criminal background report. Hiring officials for non-teaching EPA positions should use this letter or one with a similar format and equivalent wording to ensure that the necessary personal data is obtained to perform the criminal background search. Also note that once the finalist for the non-teaching EPA position has completed the agreement form, a copy will need to be forwarded to the Employment Services unit, 210 East First Street, or faxed to 328-4191, as soon as possible in order to initiate the criminal background report expeditiously.

  3. An Employment Services staff member will initiate the criminal background report once the necessary information regarding the recommended candidate of choice has been received. This procedure will be completed for new hires only. All job offers will be conditional until the criminal background report is reviewed. In most cases for SPA and CSS positions, the background report will be completed prior to the job offer being made.

  4. The Employment Services designee will review the results of the background report to determine the appropriateness of the applicant to work at ECU. Should an applicant’s background be in question, the Director of Employment Services will discuss the background results with the hiring department and the University Attorney’s office. The following factors will be taken into consideration: a) the relevance of the conviction to the duties and responsibilities that would be assigned to the applicant if hired, b) the dates of any past convictions, and c) the applicant’s record since the date(s) of the prior conviction(s).

  5. To ensure that false or erroneous information has not been transmitted in the criminal background report, and to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Director of Employment Services will inform the SPA or CSS candidate of the background results if an adverse action is being contemplated. The Director of Employment Services will, at this time, provide the candidate with a copy of the report and a copy of the candidate’s rights under the FCRA. The report and description of rights will be sent certified mail, return receipt requested. The hiring department representative will inform the non-teaching EPA position candidate of the background results if an adverse action is being contemplated. The hiring department representative will, at this time, provide the candidate with a copy of the report and a copy of the candidate’s rights under the FCRA. The report and description of rights will be sent certified mail, return receipt requested. The candidate will be given an opportunity to address the concerns/issues as revealed in the criminal background report. The Director of Employment Services and/or hiring department representative must wait five (5) business days from the date the return receipt is signed, or ten (10) business days from the date the copy of the report is mailed, if the return receipt is not signed, before making an adverse employment decision.

  6. Once the specifics of the conviction(s) have been discussed and if it is determined that the candidate of choice should not be extended an offer of employment at ECU, then the department will be notified of the decision and asked to select a more appropriate candidate for the position. If a conditional offer of employment has been made for SPA or CSS positions, the Director of Employment Services will notify the applicant that the offer of employment is withdrawn. The hiring department representative will notify the non-teaching EPA candidate that the offer of employment is being withdrawn. These notices must be sent certified mail, return receipt requested, and contain the following information:

    a. The name, address, and phone number of the Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) who provided the report, including a toll-free telephone number if the CRA compiles and maintains files on consumers on a nationwide basis.

    b. A statement that the CRA did not make the adverse decision and is unable to give specific reasons why the adverse decision was made.

    c. Notification that the applicant has the right to:

      1. Obtain a free copy of his/her report for sixty (60) days
      2. Dispute the accuracy of completeness of any information with the CRA who provided the report.

  7. Should the criminal background report reveal criminal convictions that the applicant did not self-disclose, that will be considered sufficient grounds to discontinue any employment consideration for that applicant due to the applicant’s falsification of the employment application.


Probationary Period

  1. Probationary Appointment

    1. When offers for employment are extended to a person who has not previously worked for the University, it is with the condition that the initial period of employment will be considered a probationary period. The duration of the probationary period will be a minimum of six months and shall in no case exceed nine months. (Credit toward a probationary period stops when the employee goes on leave without pay.) The standard probationary period for the University is six months; any period beyond six months must be approved by the Department of Human Resources on an individual case basis. Prior employment with a temporary or intermittent appointment may not be credited toward the probationary period.

    2. The probationary period is an essential extension of the selection process, and provides the time for effective adjustment of the new employee or elimination of those whose performance will not meet acceptable standards. Employees who are on probation are not eligible to apply for other positions on campus, except within their home department.

    3. A work plan must be developed for the new employee within 30 days from date of employment. During the probationary period, the supervisor has a responsibility to work on an on-going basis with the employee in counseling and assisting the employee to achieve a satisfactory performance level. Progress of the employee should be reviewed during discussions between the employee and the supervisor.

    4. The Department of Human Resources will send the Department Head a Probationary Appointment Progress Report Form prior to the end of the probationary period. A Performance Evaluation must be completed based on the Work Plan which was established with this employee during his/her first month of employment.

      (1) If the overall evaluation rating is Good or better the employee's appointment type will be changed to permanent.

      (2) If the overall evaluation rating is Below Good the Performance Evaluation must be reviewed with appropriate superior(s) and the Department of Human Resources before reviewing with the employee. The Performance Evaluation must include a specific Development Plan. Subject to approval by the Department of Human Resources, the probationary status may be extended one month.

      (3) If the overall evaluation rating is Unsatisfactory the Performance Evaluation must be reviewed with appropriate superior(s) and the Department of Human Resources before reviewing with the employee. Employment will be terminated. The supervisor must prepare a letter to inform the employee and coordinate with the Department of Human Resources regarding content and timing.


Trainee Appointment

  1. Classifications occasionally require knowledge or skills not available from the labor market or which cannot be learned in a short period. In such cases where no qualified candidate can be identified, a trainee appointment may be considered. Applicants with potential to meet the full job requirements are employed and qualify through structured on-the-job training over an extended period of time. The trainee appointment may be made against a classified position with specific training period and salary progression rates established. The trainee appointment, like the probationary period, is an extension of the selection process, and provides the time for effective adjustment of the new employee or elimination of those whose performance will not meet acceptable standards.

  2. During a trainee appointment an evaluation of the individual's performance and progress on the job is to be made at frequent intervals. The supervisor has a responsibility to work in assisting the employee to make satisfactory progress. As a general guide, salary increases are provided at specific intervals. These increases are not automatic, and are not necessarily limited to the full elapse of specified intervals. Salary adjustments may be either advanced or delayed depending upon the progress of the employee. In cases where salary adjustments have been advanced, normally the trainee's salary will not be adjusted to the minimum rate of the range for the regular classification until the employee meets all education and experience requirements for the appointment (experience of part-time employees must be prorated); the salary can be moved to the regular class rate only when job performance demonstrates achievement of duties, knowledges, and skills at the level of the class, as verified by individual job audit. Salary adjustments will given upon recommendation by the department head and the supervisor that the employee has earned an increase as indicated on the ECU ONE FORM.

  3. When the employee has fulfilled all the trainee requirements, the appointment will be made permanent. If instead, the determination is that the employee's performance indicates that the employee is not suited for the position and cannot be expected to meet acceptable standards, the employee should be separated.


Credentials Verification

  1. Within ninety (90) days from the employee's initial date of hire, the Department of Human Resources will secure written verification of the employee's dates of enrollment, degrees awarded, professional licenses, professional registrations, and professional certifications as reflected on the ECU Employment Application Form.

  2. Any credentials or work history falsification cases discovered prior to employment will result in disqualification of the applicant from consideration for the position in question.

  3. When credential or work history falsification is discovered after employment with the University, disciplinary action is required as follows:

    1. If an employee was determined to be qualified and was selected for a position based on fraudulent work experience, educational, registration, licensure or certification information which was a requirement of the position, the employee will be dismissed, regardless of length of service.

    2. In all other post-hire discovery cases of false or misleading information, disciplinary action will be taken, with the severity of such action being at the discretion of the Department of Human Resources. The actions may include dismissal; demotion; reduction in pay; written reprimand. Factors which will be considered in determining appropriate action will include: sensitivity of the employee's position; effect of the false information on the hiring decision; advantage gained by the employee over other applicants; effect of the false information on the starting salary; and the advantage gained by the employee in subsequent promotion and salary increases. Job performance will not be considered in such cases, nor can decisions be made on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, handicapped condition, or political affiliations.

  4. A employee's appointment cannot be changed from probationary to permanent until credentials have been verified.


Application

  1. The University utilizes its own Employment Application and has an interactive on-line application linked from: http://www.hr.ecu.edu/Employment.html. While it is strongly preferred that any applicant considered for an SPA position with the University have a completed application on file with the Department of Human Resources, a resume may substitute for screening purposes. Any applicant interviewed must complete an ECU Application in order to receive further consideration. In no case shall an individual be offered employment, promotion, transfer, etc. without a current application on file in the Department of Human Resources.

  2. Applicants must furnish true, accurate, and complete information and documentation as requested. When credentials or work history falsification is discovered prior to employment, the applicant must be disqualified from consideration for the position in question. Any employee, who is employed as the result of knowingly and willfully disclosing false or misleading information or documentation, or concealing dishonorable military service, or concealing prior employment or other requested information significantly related to job responsibilities, may be subjected to disciplinary action up to and including immediate dismissal from employment, and/or criminal action.


Secondary Employment

An employee may hold a second job with a private employer or enter self-employment during off duty hours only if approved in writing by the department head through the completion of Approval for Secondary Employment (Form P-87). If approved, the department head should periodically review the situation to insure that there are no adverse effects during the time of secondary employment. The second job must not be connected in any way with the employee's University job or be in conflict of interest with the University. Also, outside employment must not in any way interfere or hinder the job performance of the employee as judged by the supervisor or department head. Approval of secondary employment may be withdrawn at any time should such employment prove to adversely affect an employee's performance or be in conflict of interest to the University. Any employee requests for approval of secondary employment and support documentation therein shall be treated confidentially for all purposes.


Dual Employment

Employment of a University employee by another N. C. State agency or institution is considered "dual employment," and it must meet certain guidelines as prescribed by the Office of State Personnel and Office of State Budget. The University Comptroller is the coordinator for "dual employment." Specific responsibilities are as follows:

  1. The borrowing agency or institution must secure written approval from the employee's department head for that individual to perform services elsewhere for pay.

  2. Likewise, if the University wishes to secure the services of someone employed by another state agency or institution, written approval must be received from that employee's department or employing institution.

  3. In any case of services performed for pay for a borrowing agency during an employee's "own time," the employee's immediate supervisor must certify in writing that (1) the actual work and any related travel time will be performed outside of regularly scheduled work hours, and (2) the employee will not use "company or University time" to prepare for the services rendered to the borrowing agency.

  4. All payments for services must be made by the borrowing agency to the University and not to the employee. The University will in turn make disbursement to the employee for services rendered.


Additional Employment

  1. An SPA employee who is subject to the wage and hour provisions of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) may work in a second job with the University for additional compensation but only when all time worked in excess of 40 hours per calendar week is treated as overtime. This action requires verbal approval in advance by the department head where the employee is permanently assigned before the employee may proceed with the additional work.

  2. An SPA employee who is exempt from the wage and hour provisions of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, however, cannot simultaneously hold two separate SPA positions or jobs with the University when, if combined, it would exceed 40 hours per calendar week. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Department of Human Resources and the Office of State Personnel.

  3. There are times when the University needs to use a current full-time employee to teach a class when other instructors are not available.

    1. If an FLSA non-exempt employee works in an "occasional or sporadic" capacity, the employee can be compensated at straight time; however, if the work involves teaching a course for a full semester, the Department of Labor does not interpret this to be "occasional or sporadic." If you determine that it is appropriate for the employee to teach a course, you must compensate him/her on an overtime payroll at time and one-half the established rate. Due to the restrictions of the wage and hour provisions of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, no appointment may be made for a full-time SPA non-exempt employee to teach a course without prior approval from the Department of Human Resources and Office of State Personnel.

    2. Although the Hours of Work and Overtime Policy prohibits FLSA exempt employees from receiving pay for work beyond 40 hours per week, exceptions are allowed in universities for employees to teach a course if a reasonable effort has been made to locate an outside employee and none is available and all the work is performed on the employee's own time. The University is authorized to make the determination as to whether it is appropriate for an SPA exempt employee to teach a course on an occasional or sporadic basis or for a semester and receive additional pay, without approval from the Office of State Personnel. This applies only to teaching an authorized course that is otherwise scheduled to be taught.