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DVR Criminal Background Check Policy

Wisconsin law protects workers from workplace discrimination because of arrest or conviction record under certain circumstances. However, it is not employment discrimination under the law to not hire when an employee's arrest or conviction is substantially related to the employment. DVR provides services to individuals with disabilities, including youth, students, and vulnerable adults.

For this reason, criminal background checks are required for all service provider personnel or contractors who work with DVR consumers or who work with DVR consumer information, including individuals serving as the main contact for any service agreement and individuals who perform a service provider's reporting or billing related to its service provider agreement. DVR may not allow individuals with substantially related conviction records to work with DVR consumers or consumer related information.

DVR has determined that the types of conviction records listed below are substantially related to the positions of by service providers, their personnel, and contractors who provide services to DVR consumers or work with DVR consumer information.

Crimes related to loss of life

Crimes related to physical harm to others

Crimes related to sexual harm of others

Crimes against children

In addition, DVR has determined that in cases where service provider personnel or contractors may be assisting consumers with financial related matters and have access to consumer personally identifiable information, the following types of conviction records are substantially related to the positions that provide services to DVR consumers or work with DVR consumer information:

Crimes against property

Prior to working with DVR consumers or consumer related information, service providers shall obtain a criminal history search from the records maintained by the Wisconsin Department of Justice for all service provider personnel or contractors who work with DVR consumers or DVR consumer information.

If the service provider knows or has reason to know that any of its personnel or contractors requiring background checks are not residents of Wisconsin, or if at any time within the last five (5) years preceding the date of the search any of its personnel or contractors have not been residents of Wisconsin, then the service provider shall make a good faith effort to obtain from any state or other United States jurisdiction in which those persons are residents, or were residents within the last five (5) years of the date of the required search, a criminal history search substantially similar to the search conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Service providers are responsible for completing and paying for all background checks.

Service providers shall also review the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry to ensure that staff and subcontractors who provide services to DVR consumers or work with DVR consumer information are not on the offender list.

After completing the required criminal background check and checking the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry, service providers must complete and sign a Certification of Criminal Background Check Form electronically.

If the service provider finds that any of its personnel and/or contractors have been convicted of a crime that is substantially related to their work with DVR consumers or DVR consumer information, then the service provider must notify DVR of the results if they want the individual to work with DVR consumers or DVR consumer information, so DVR can determine whether mitigating circumstances exist which would allow the individual to work with DVR consumers or consumer information. When providing notification, the service provider shall email the DVR Contract Specialist.

If a service provider requests a mitigation plan, the following steps will be taken:

  1. The Service Provider must submit a proposed mitigation plan to the WDA Director and DVR Contract Specialist describing how the service provider will monitor the personnel's or contractor's performance and assure the safety of DVR consumers.
  2. The mitigation plan will be reviewed by DVR. Notification of a decision will be provided in writing to the service provider. A mitigation plan may be approved, amended or denied as necessary to assure the safety of DVR consumers.
  3. If the mitigation plan is approved by DVR, the plan must be signed by the Service Provider, WDA Director, and Contract Specialist. A copy of the mitigation plan signed by all parties will be sent to the Service Provider and kept on file by DVR.
  4. The WDA Director will follow-up as determined by the approved mitigation plan with the provider to monitor the plan and to assure the safety of DVR consumers.

In addition, when new personnel and/or subcontractors are retained to provide services, service providers must complete the required criminal background check and check the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry prior to allowing the individual to work with DVR consumers or consumer information. Service providers should require their employees and subcontractors to inform them of any arrest or conviction within 48 hours of the arrest or conviction. Service providers must notify DVR if they know or have reason to believe that their staff or subcontractors are the subject of an investigation that may lead to a conviction that would be substantially related to the provision of services to DVR consumers. Such notification shall take place within two (2) business days of the time that the service provider becomes aware of the pending investigation.

Additionally, if the service provider discovers any new convictions during the term of a pending service agreement or an individual requiring a background check has been added to the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry, then the service provider must notify the DVR Contract Specialist within two (2) business days of the time that the service provider becomes aware of the new conviction.

Service providers must keep all criminal background checks on file for three (3) years. DVR reserves the right to request copies of criminal background checks for service providers as well as all staff and subcontractors covered by a service agreement at any time.