The Texas Education Agency (TEA) recently provided guidance on the pre-employment affidavit of an applicant offered employment.
Earlier in the COVID-19 outbreak, provisions for online notarization were provided as an avenue for completing the process. TEA has indicated that notarizing the affidavits of applicants offered employment is a local choice. As indicated in online guidance, TEA interprets Texas Education Code section 21.009 to permit districts to use the declaration completed at the time the application is submitted. Pros and cons of this new guidance are outlined below.
- Process would be simplified because no notarization would be required
- Additional safeguards with the implementation of the new hire registry can be used to confirm an applicant’s criminal history
- A fully automated and paperless hiring process could be achieved
- No notarization may weaken an employee’s obligation to be truthful
- Districts have an established practice to require a notary
Sample Pre-Employment Affidavit forms can be found in TASB Legal eSource under hiring practices. It is recommended districts consult with their legal counsel prior to eliminating notarization of the form.
Karen Dooley is an senior HR consultant at TASB HR Services. Send Karen an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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