Policy Number: 18.104.22.168
Effective Date: March 14, 2023
Revision History: March 17, 2022
Policy Contact: Chief Human Resource Officer
I. Purpose and Policy Statement
The purpose of this policy is to inform faculty and staff of the requirements to report to the College any incident where a faculty or staff member is arrested, is the subject of a warrant, or is charged with a crime.
This policy applies to all employees of the College.
Minor Traffic Offense: Minor traffic offenses include actions such as speeding, running a red light, failing to yield and failure to obey a traffic device. Infractions such as a DUI or any traffic offense involving alcohol, violation of the Super Speeder law, hit-and-run, reckless or negligent driving, driving while unlicensed or suspended, leaving the scene of an accident, driving with an invalid license, or vehicular homicide are not considered minor traffic offenses. The decision of whether a traffic offense is minor or not shall be made at the sole discretion of Georgia Gwinnett College (“GGC”).
Nolo contendere: A plea by which a defendant, in a criminal prosecution, accepts conviction as though a guilty plea had been entered, but does not admit guilt.
Nolle prosequi: A formal notice of abandonment by a plaintiff, or prosecutor, of all or part of a suit or action.
IV. Roles and Responsibilities
- Background Investigation Officer (“BIO”): The Chief Human Resource Officer (“CHRO”) or the CHRO’s designee is charged with reviewing background investigations results and making employment suitability determinations. The BIO consults with the Background Investigations Committee (“BIC”) and senior administrators, as necessary, in making employment status determinations.
- Background Investigation Committee (“BIC”): The administrative committee charged with determining employment suitability. The BIC includes a representative from Human Resources, Legal Affairs, and Public Safety. The applicable department will be consulted, as necessary, in assessing position responsibilities when making employment status determinations.
- Manager: Responsible for promptly reporting any and all information related to arrests and dispositions in compliance with this policy.
V. Arrests, Warrants, or Charges
- Any current employee who is arrested, is the subject of a warrant, or charged with a crime (other than a minor traffic offense) is required to report such incident to the Office of Human Resources within 72 hours of the employee becoming aware of such charge, warrant, arrest, or, in the case of an arrest, release from incarceration. After notification, the Office of Human Resources will provide the employee with any additional requirements, which may include, but is not limited to, background report consent and completion of an initial background notification reporting form.
- Failure to report, as required under this policy, may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. A report made under this policy is in addition to and does not replace the requirement for the employee to notify the employee’s supervisor if the employee is unable to report to work.
- All employees and volunteers who drive vehicles on GGC business, regardless of the frequency or location of driving are subject to APM 9.55 on Fleet Management which requires disclosure of certain offenses that may not be covered by this policy, including any license expiration, suspension, or revocation.
- The Background Investigation Officer (“BIO”), in consultation with the Background Investigative Committee (“BIC”), will consider the information provided by the employee and any other relevant facts and circumstances that are available, including, but not limited to, the incident report. The BIO and BIC shall determine what, if any, action should be taken regarding the employment status until resolution of the criminal matter. GGC may take employment action while the charges are pending, or prior to receipt of an employee’s initial report, if such action is in the best interests of GGC based upon receipt of additional information, or the totality of circumstances. This employment action may include, but is not limited to, suspension, administrative leave, or termination. An employee may also be subject to employment action for violations of GGC policies and procedures, or reasons independent of this policy (e.g., failure to report to work, even if the failure to report is due to incarceration).
VI. Temporary Suspension of Faculty During Pendency of Criminal Charges
- In compliance with BOR Policy Manual 22.214.171.124, when a GGC faculty member is charged with the violation of a state or federal law, or is indicted for any such offense, a thorough review shall be carried out promptly by the President’s appointed designee. If upon the completion of such review the President’s designee determines that it is in the best interests of the institution, the faculty member may be temporarily suspended with or without pay.
- In the event a faculty member is temporarily suspended, the faculty member may request a review within ten days of being notified of the decision. If the faculty member does so, the President shall immediately convene an ad hoc faculty committee or utilize the services of an appropriate existing faculty committee for the purpose of reviewing the suspension. The review shall be conducted based on written submissions from the faculty member and the President’s designee and any additional materials that the committee finds to be appropriate in accordance with procedures to be established by the committee, which shall render its decision within ten days after the date that the committee was convened.
- The committee will recommend that the suspension either continue or cease. If it recommends that the suspension continue, it should also recommend whether the remainder of the suspension should be with or without pay. The President will then consider the committee’s recommendations and promptly make a final decision regarding the suspension. The faculty member may thereafter apply for discretionary review of the institution’s final decision under Board of Regents’ Policy.
- A suspension under this Policy shall not continue beyond the resolution of the criminal charges/indictment, or the conclusion of the next succeeding semester after the initiation of the temporary suspension, whichever is sooner.
- Should the initiation of disciplinary proceedings beyond a temporary suspension become appropriate, the institution may initiate such proceedings in accordance with other applicable policies either during or after the conclusion of the temporary suspension.
- Any current employee shall notify the Office of Human Resources within 24 hours of the disposition of or sentencing for a criminal case (including, but not limited to, pleas of guilty, nolle prosequi, sentencing under the Georgia First Offender Act, conviction and nolo contendere). Employees are required to report the disposition of any case or sentencing occurring during employment even if the underlying crime occurred prior to employment. Failure to report the disposition or sentencing may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
- The BIO in consultation with the BIC will consider the information provided by the employee, the circumstances surrounding the incident and employment with GGC, and any other relevant facts that are available. The BIO and BIC shall determine what, if any, action should be taken regarding the employment status. An employee may also be subject to employment action for violations of GGC policies and procedures or reasons independent of this policy (e.g., inability to perform essential duties as a result of conviction or probation restrictions, such as loss of driver’s license, etc.).
VIII. Discipline and Removal of Faculty for Conviction
In compliance with BOR Policy Manual 126.96.36.199 Grounds for Removal and provided that the institution has complied with procedural due process requirements, a GGC faculty member may be dismissed before the end of their contract term for conviction or admission of guilt related to certain crimes such criminal drug offenses and crime involving moral turpitude during the period of employment or prior thereto if the conviction or admission of guilt was willfully concealed. Such removals for cause shall be governed by BOR Policy Manual 8.3.9 Discipline and Removal of Faculty Members.
IX. Related Regulations, Statutes, Policies, and Procedures
BOR Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual (“HRAP”) Policy on Background Investigation
BOR HRAP Policy on General Criteria for Employment
APM 8.2.99 Policy on Background Investigation
BOR Policy Manual 8.3.9 Discipline and Removal of Faculty Members