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COVID-19 Temporary Relaxation of Background Check Policy (Legacy Rutgers)


Dear Colleagues,

The government closures effected in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 have resulted in significant delays in the processing of pre-employment background checks. As we continue to assess our current policies and procedures in order to support the continued operations of the university, we are implementing a COVID-19 temporary relaxation of the Background Checks for Staff and Faculty Positions Policy (60.1.30). The COVID-19 policy relaxation will allow candidates to commence employment pending the completion of the full background check process if the candidate clears the Sex Offender Registry portion of the background check. At this time, the policy relaxation will apply to all Rutgers entities EXCEPT RBHS.

Effective immediately, and until further notice, all offer letters must include the following language:

“During the period of emergency as declared by the State of New Jersey and the University, the University may relax University Policy 60.1.30 and allow individuals to commence employment in a legacy Rutgers position prior to receiving the full results of the background check due to the inability of the University to timely obtain certain information from agencies related to that background check. Any individual allowed to commence employment under this relaxation of University Policy shall be subject to termination of employment if the information subsequently obtained about the individual that had not been obtained (or not disclosed by the applicant) at the time of application of employment, are not deemed acceptable by the University.

This relaxation/exception to the Policy by the Senior Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness shall apply only to certain criminal history information that may not be timely obtained due to the closure or limited availability of certain court systems during this period of emergency. Applicants must still undergo all other parts of a background check, including, but not limited to, the Sex Offender Registry. This relaxation shall not apply to applicants who must complete a full background check pursuant to statute, regulation, accrediting agency policy, or for other reasons determined by the Senior Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness.”

Please note that academic and staff position offer letter templates have been updated to reflect this language. If an offer letter has been extended and a background check is pending, a new offer letter with the above language must be issued prior to commencement of employment. Candidates should be made aware that employment is still contingent upon a full background check clearance.

The new process is outlined here:

Academic Offer Letter Templates:

Staff Offer Letter Templates: Departments can navigate to the UHR Sakai site to access the updated offer letter templates. The main Sakai site is

If you have any questions, please contact OneSource Rutgers Faculty and Staff Service Center at 732-745-SERV (7378) or at


Vivian Fernández
Senior Vice President for Human Resources & Organizational Effectiveness