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To: HR Officers and Secondary Contacts
From: Noreen Montgomery, Senior Director Employment & Staffing

As a follow-up to presentations conducted in the July and August Carolina HR Council meetings, the federal Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act became effective on Dec. 20, 2021. Although we are still awaiting further guidance on the federal contractor requirements from the federal government at this time, we would like to continue to provide you information regarding how this will directly impact UNC-Chapel Hill in terms of changes to the hiring process.

The Act prohibits federal agencies and federal contractors from inquiring about and/or obtaining criminal history record information on an applicant prior to extending a contingent offer of employment. A contingent offer of employment is a formal job offer that is dependent on the candidate completing certain hiring requirements such as a background check.

As a result of this new law, we anticipate that UNC-Chapel Hill’s hiring process will be changing in the future as follows:

  • A contingent offer must be extended to candidates for paid permanent, time-limited, and temporary SHRA, EHRA Non-Faculty and Faculty employment types prior to initiating the background check. This includes student employees who are required to complete a background check.
  • Contingent offers must be made in writing. A contingent offer template will be provided to hiring departments.
  • Contingent offers may be rescinded if any hiring requirements are not met.
  • Once all hiring requirements are met, the job offer can be finalized.

It is important to note that this law does not apply to contingent worker and affiliate appointments including:

  • UNC independent contractors.
  • post docs – external pay.
  • adjunct faculty no intent to pay.
  • unpaid interns, volunteers and visiting scholars.

As a reminder, at this time, we are still awaiting further guidance on the federal contractor requirements from the federal government. We plan to provide additional updates in advance of implementing these changes to the hiring process.


If you should have questions in the meantime, please send your questions to


Categories: HRO
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