Date Adopted: 06/09/2009
References: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 1992
Issuing Office: Administration and Finance
Approved By: Susan Briggs
The University of Montana Western performs reference checks for employment applicants during its hiring process as well as providing information to UMW employees who are contacted as references for others.
The purpose of this policy is to comply with the American with Disabilities Act with regard to the types of questions that can and cannot be asked during reference checks.
When properly applied, reference checks can be an effective tool to use during the hiring process and may assist an interviewer in selecting a successful candidate for a position. Applicants are required to provide three references to UMW as part of a completed application or resume packet. The purpose of this policy is to standardize the procedure used when checking the references of applicants for positions at the University.
Restrictions on pre-employment inquiries apply to inquiries made directly to an applicant or made indirectly about an applicant. During the process of checking references, the interviewer cannot ask previous employers or other sources about an applicant's disability, illness, workers' compensation history, or other similar restricted matters. An interviewer can inquire about the job functions and tasks performed by the applicant, his/her ability to perform essential job functions, the quality and quantity of work performed, attendance record, and other job-related issues that do not relate to disability.
A copy of the Reference Check Form is included in the interview packet. If reference checks are used as part of the hiring process, the following guidelines will apply.
Reference checks may be made at any time during the hiring process; however, they are most beneficial when used in conjunction with an evaluation of submitted application materials and personal interviews. Although it is not necessary to conduct reference checks on all applicants in the screening and/or interview pool, the decision of when to use checks should be justifiable and applied in a fair and consistent manner.
The respondent to the reference inquiry must serve in a supervisory capacity and have direct knowledge of the person's work history and job performance. If the prospective employer of a former or current employee concerning a work reference contacts you, the following guidelines will apply:
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 1992
Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance/Student Affairs, EEO/Affirmative Action Officer