Contents
 
Feature Article

Compliance News
  

Industry News
  

Compliance News
  

CS Products and Services
  

CS News

Quinn McConkey Promoted to Account Manager

  


CS News

Corporate Screening’s Redesigned Website- Have You Taken a Look?

  


VERIFYSTUDENTS CORNER

VerifyStudents Feature Article

College Campuses Increasingly Employing Background Checks

  


Product Description

ImmuniTrax™ Student Immunization Tracking System

 

 

VerifyStudents Product News

Additional ImmuniTrax™ Webinars

         


 
Recent Client Alerts
 
 
 
 

  

 
 

 
With more states legalizing the use of medicinal and recreational marijuana, the issue of marijuana in the workplace is something a growing number of employers must deal with. Recent statistics from CNBC indicate:
 
  • In addition to Colorado, legalized recreational use of marijuana has been adopted in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia:
  • 23 states also allow for medical marijuana use; and
  • Statistics show that in 2013, approximately 33 million Americans admitted to the use of marijuana (up 33 percent from 10  years ago)

Legalized marijuana is big business. CNBC reports that the legal cannabis market in the United States was $2.6 billion in 2014, up over $1 billion from 2013. And Colorado expected to collect nearly $50 million in taxes on the business for 2014.
 
All of this has sparked potential issues in the workplace. According to USA Today, employees working for companies that maintain drug-free workplaces complain that their companies are penalizing them for what they do on their own time. Employers, on the other hand, have drug screening policies in place to protect their workplaces.
 
One issue of significant importance is the testing methodology utilized.  Unlike tests for alcohol impairment, which can be conducted on-site with near instantaneous results, there are no tests currently on the market capable of instantaneously reporting impairment due to the use of marijuana.  Current mass-market drug screening methods detect THC, the byproduct or metabolite of marijuana but cannot detect how long ago the drug was ingested or whether or not the user is currently under the influence, meaning that the test will show as positive long after the effects of the drug have subsided. 
 
New Technology Emerges
As marijuana legalization increases, businesses are seeking new opportunities to service employers and others that rely on the most up to date testing methods available. Lifeloc Technologies, a manufacturer of breath alcohol testing devices, is one example. In December 2014, the Colorado Office of Economic Development awarded Lifeloc a $250,000 grant to develop a roadside testing device similar to those used for alcohol. Lifeloc’s President believes this will be available by 2016.

 

Legal Issues

Because legalization of marijuana is an emerging issue, at its infancy, there are a number of legal issues. As most people are aware, state laws on marijuana usage vary. It’s important for employers to be familiar with the laws in the states in which they do business.

 

Despite individual state law, federal law still prohibits the use of marijuana. According to SHRM, certain classes of employees are required to be tested regularly for marijuana. Examples include pilots, school bus drivers, truck drivers, train engineers, etc.

 

One recent court case could have broad implications and is being closely watched. In Brandon Coats vs. DISH Network, the plaintiff, who uses medical marijuana to treat muscle spasms from a spinal injury was terminated after testing positive for cannabis during a routine drug test. DISH Network has a zero-tolerance drug policy. Because marijuana use is illegal under federal law, the company can terminate someone who fails a marijuana drug test, even in a state where it is legal for drug use. The Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed the company’s right to fire him, but the Colorado Supreme Court has decided to review the case. The results are still pending, but if the court reverses the decision, it could have implications for employers in the state of Colorado, and could set precedence for other cases throughout the country.

 

Employer Concerns

With all of this, employers may be wondering what they should do. Some suggestions include:

  • Review and understand the laws pertaining to marijuana user in your state. Some states, such as Connecticut, Maine and Rhode Island prohibit companies from discriminating against workers based solely on their status as a medical marijuana patient.  Other states, such as Colorado, exempt businesses from accommodating marijuana use in or around the workplace (source: SHRM)
  • Review your drug screening policies and make sure employees are aware of the policies.
  • Keep up with legislation regarding medical and recreational marijuana usage. As more states pass laws that allow marijuana usage, its likely more complications will arise. Communicate your policies clearly to employees and stay informed.

Corporate Screening will continue to monitor this ongoing trend, and can help you if you have any questions.

 


 
There have been a number of “ban the box” initiatives that have become law so far in 2015. Here is a summary of the states and localities whose laws have changed recently:
 
Illinois
On January 1, 2015, Illinois’ Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act went into effect. The state’s “ban the box” law applies to employers with 15 or more employees, and employment agencies. Employers are prohibited from asking about an applicant’s criminal record until the applicant has been selected for an interview by the employer or until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. For more details and a link to the bill, read our Client Alert.
 

Montgomery County, Maryland

On January 1, 2015, Montgomery County’s “ban the box” legislation went into effect. It applies to employers with 15 or more full time employees in the county, and specifically prohibits employers from:

  • On the employment application, inquiring about any (1) arrest or accusation of crime or (2) criminal conviction.
  • Before the conclusion of a first employment interview, (1) inquiring about any arrest or accusation of crime; (2) inquiring about any criminal conviction or (3) conducting any background check or inquiries regarding any arrest, accusation of crime, or criminal conviction.

Additionally, there are some notice obligations that are different from the FCRA, specifically:

  • If the employer intends to rescind a conditional offer of employment based on the criminal history report, the applicant must be provided with a copy of the background report, and a copy of A Summary of Your Rights under the FCRA. Additionally, the employer must also specify the “Items that are the basis for the intention” for the adverse action.
  • Employers also need to allow the applicant at least 7 days to dispute the accuracy of the information, or otherwise respond (instead of the recommended 5 business days under the FCRA).

You can read the ordinance in its entirety by visiting the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights website.

 

Prince George’s County, Maryland

Similar to the legislation in Montgomery County, the Prince George’s “ban the box” law went into effect on January 20, 2015. This law affects employers with 25 full time employees in the county, and specifically prohibits employers from:

  • On the employment application, inquiring about any (1) arrest or accusation of crime or (2) criminal conviction.
  • Before the conclusion of a first employment interview, (1) inquiring about any arrest or accusation of crime; (2) inquiring about any criminal conviction or (3) conducting any background check or inquiries regarding any arrest, accusation of crime, or criminal conviction.

Similar to the legislation in Montgomery County, there are some differences from the FCRA. Specifically:

  • If the employer intends to rescind a conditional offer of employment based on the criminal history report, the applicant must be provided with a copy of the background report, and a copy of A Summary of Your Rights under the FCRA. Additionally, the employer must also specify the “Items that are the basis for the intention” for the adverse action.
  • Employers also need to allow the applicant at least 7 days to dispute the accuracy of the information, or otherwise respond (instead of the recommended 5 business days under the FCRA).

New Jersey

 On March 1, 2015, New Jersey’s “ban the box” legislation, the Opportunity to Compete Act went into effect. The law supersedes other “ban the box” laws passed by local entities in the state, and applies to all employers (public or private) with 15 or more employees.

 

Employers are prohibited from asking about an applicant’s criminal record until after they have conducted the first interview. More details about New Jersey’s legislation are available in Corporate Screening’s Client Alerts.

 

 

Industry News
 
Background Screening in the News is a section devoted to newsworthy events related to background screening. We’ll briefly summarize a few of the news-worthy topics in the industry so that you know what’s trending in the background screening world.
 

Are Riders Safe with Uber?

The rapid expansion of ride share companies has a growing number of communities concerned about safety. And in December 2014, district attorneys in Los Angeles and San Francisco sued Uber, alleging the company misrepresents its driver background screening. A December CNN Money article stated, “Uber's website promotes its background checks as the best in the business. But the company does not require drivers to submit fingerprint identification, which is a requirement for regular California taxi drivers. Instead, Uber drivers submit personal information on the company's website, and the lawsuit contends that criminals can slip by using another person's identity to register.”

 

In February, Uber increased its background requirements for drivers. According to TheVerge.com, Uber announced in a blog post that “all new Uber drivers in American markets will now need to undergo federal and county background checks,” and the new policy will extend to current Uber drivers whose backgrounds did not include those checks.

 

Airport Security: Background Checks Lacking

Tests of security at U.S. airports have repeatedly demonstrated the gaps in security. One recent report by CNN done in early February highlights this. According to the article, only two major airports in the nation, Miami and Orlando, require all employees with secure access to pass through metal detectors. And background screening is also of concern. While employees at Miami are subject to random background checks after being hired, that is not the case everywhere. In fact, the article quotes FBI’s deputy assistant director of counterterrorism, Gary Perdue, who said that most airport employees are not subject to re-screening after they are initially hired.

 

Currently the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is examining the most recent breaches and is working on what policy changes may be necessary.

 

Compliance News
FCRA Class Action Lawsuits Continue to Proliferate in 2015

A growing threat to employers in all industries, especially large employers with deep pockets, is the growing number of Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class action lawsuits. Most commonly, plaintiffs in these lawsuits allege that disclosure forms and adverse action procedures are not in compliance with the FCRA.

 

Part of the allure of these lawsuits is that there is a lot of money at stake. Typically, plaintiffs usually seek damages between $100 and $1000 per each class member, punitive damages, as well as court and attorneys’ fees. Another reason these types of lawsuits has caught on so quickly is due to some large settlements that have been widely publicized. Specifically, in 2014, Publix Supermarkets paid $6.8 million, Dollar General paid $4 million, Swift Transportation paid $4.4 million, Domino’s Pizza paid $2.5 million and Kmart paid $3 million to settle their respective lawsuits.

 

The bad news for employers is that FCRA class action lawsuits aren’t going away. Last July, three FCRA class action lawsuits were filed on the same day. And the following employers have been hit with similar lawsuits in 2015:

  • Paramount Pictures, case filed on January 7, 2015;

  • Pizza Hut, case filed on January 15, 2015;

  • Michael’s Stores, Inc., case filed on January 28, 2015 (the second FCRA class action lawsuit for Michael’s);

  • Alliance Hospitality Management, case filed on January 30, 2015; and

  • Home Depot, February 11, 2015.

As you can see, these are large companies, most with familiar names. But all employers need to be aware that they could be at risk. Organizations that use consumer or credit reports to determine employment eligibility, need to review their hiring practices to ensure they are in compliance with the FCRA. Here are some guidelines:

  • Check your disclosure forms to make sure they are compliant with the FCRA. Corporate Screening offers sample authorization and disclosure forms for clients. And employers should also review forms and practices with their legal counsel.

  • Review your adverse action procedures. Corporate Screening can work with you to ensure your practices are in compliance, and we also offer products such as our Adverse Action Workflow Tool, which will help you streamline your adverse action process, with flexible options, that will give you the tools to keep your organization in compliance with FCRA adverse action rules(as well as state and local laws).


Corporate Screening is also available to help you assess your background screening program. We offer a complimentary Screening Assessment Program (SPA) that can help your organization measure your background program against industry standards, best practices and legal compliance. This assessment will provide you with a complete understanding of your current background program, and can help you design and implement a compliant program that will help you mitigate the risks associated with non-compliance.

 

CS Products and Services
New! Enhanced EASE Search Function
 

Corporate Screening is pleased to announce that we have enhanced the archived search function in EASE client interface platform. Previously, when searching for a case older than two years, you could only use the candidate’s Social Security Number to locate the case. With the improved search function, you will now be able to: 

  • Search for cases using either name, Social Security Number, or Case ID,

  • Search by date range (note, if you do not enter a value into the “For” field, it will return all cases within that range), and

  • Sort results by specific fields such close date, name, representative, location, etc.

The following picture illustrates the Archived Search Function:

The enhanced search function provides you with limitless options when you search your archived cases. For example, if you want to see every background completed on a candidate with the last name of Jones in 2012, you can conduct that type of search.
 
We invite you to check out the new archived search function today!
 

CS News
Quinn McConkey Promoted to Account Manager
 
Corporate Screening is pleased to announce the promotion of company veteran Quinn McConkey to the position of Account Manager. In this role, she will focus on maintaining and developing key client relationships.

 

“Quinn’s ability to effortlessly interact with customers made her the ideal candidate for the Account Manager role,” remarked Greg Dubecky, President of Corporate Screening.  “Our organization is fortunate to have someone as dedicated and talented on board. And In her new position, Quinn will continue to closely interact with our clients.”

 

Quinn has worked at Corporate Screening for over 17 years in various capacities, most recently in the role of Lead Support Representative. She has interacted with clients as part of the Client Services team for over ten years, and brings a great deal of customer service and background screening expertise to this role.

 

In her new position, Quinn will be responsible for maintaining close working relationships with existing clients in order to facilitate overall satisfaction and repeat business. She will also back-up the National Account Manager, serving as a point of contact for customers when necessary and assisting them as they add new services.

 

CS News
 
Corporate Screening is pleased to announce that our redesigned website was released in January, 2015.  With its fresh new look, the updated website provides helpful information about products and services, as well as updates and news in our blog and Client Alert sections. And everything is in an easy to navigate format. We invite you to take a look at the new  CorporateScreening site today.

www.CorporateScreening.com

 


VerifyStudents Corner
 Student Background News
        
VerifyStudents Feature Article
College Campuses Increasingly Employing Background Checks

If you’ve been reading our blogs, you know that increasingly, college campuses are stepping up their use of background checks on a number of fronts. New and updated policies are making background checks a requirement for new employees, volunteers (even student volunteers), and others who work with minor children on campus.
 
The articles about new and updated policies for new staff is a positive step in improving safety on campus, not just for minors but for everyone. But what we often miss, though, is a policy that extends to current faculty and staff, as well as students who engage with minors on campus. So we applaud new policies such as the one at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education that goes even further by requiring current employees to get re-screened.
 
Some recent blogs we published shared information about people with sex offender convictions who were found to be teaching at universities. While the subject of requiring background checks on campus continues to be debated by some people, many people are adamant that screening is an important aspect of campus safety.

 

For information on how Corporate Screening can help your organization review or implement a background screening program, contact us at 800-229-8606.

 

Product Description
ImmuniTrax™ Student Immunization Tracking System
 
ImmuniTrax™ student immunization tracking, is a unique web-based tracking and compliance system that is completely customized to meet your school’s needs. With its carefully designed features, ImmuiTrax™ can meet the varied needs of each academic program within a school, eliminating manual tracking and reducing the administrative burden of student immunization tracking.

 

Program administrators appreciate ImmuniTrax™ because it allows them view and manage student forms and records, track student progress, and send messages to students. They also rely on ImmuniTrax™ because it uses experts to review of the forms and documents students submit.

 

Students are able to download and submit forms, track the status of forms and supporting documentation and request online assistance. All documentation are uploaded and stored in a secure system for tracking, review, and ongoing program management.

 

Additionally, ImmuniTrax™ ensures compliance with campus, hospital and state health regulations, and exceeds HIPAA and FERPA requirements.

 

For more information about ImmuniTrax™, contact Corporate Screening at 800-229-8606 or click here.

 

 

VerifyStudents Product News
 
In February, Corporate Screening hosted a series of ImmuniTrax™ webinars. Showcasing our student immunization tracking system, these webinars were extremely popular. Due to overwhelming response and requests, Corporate Screening will schedule additional webinars in March. If you would like more information about ImmuniTrax™ and have not yet taken advantage of these free webinars, we invite you to register today!
 
Registration Information
(Please note that all times are Eastern Daylight Time)

 

Thurs., Mar 12, 2015 2:00 PM EDT: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/767069154372922625 

 

Wed, Mar 18, 2015 3:00 PM EDT: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1549428852140232705

 

Thurs, Mar 19, 2015 11:00 AM EDT: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1397183875088624385