The Importance of Maintaining a Compliant Pre-Employment Program

Consider this post as just a quick reminder that the compliance of your background screening program continues to be a target-rich environment for class action legal challenges from the Plaintiffs Bar. Without a careful focus on compliance, you may be subject to legal action from an applicant. ESPECIALLY when it comes to the content/presentation of your authorization forms and the timeliness of your adverse notifications. Let’s work together to help minimize your risk of class action lawsuits like these:

Starbucks: Two pending class action lawsuits alleging flawed background reports led to Starbucks declining 8,000+ job applicants may settle in coming months. READ MORE

Delta: The airline settles FCRA Class Action for $2.3 Million over allegedly giving inadequate disclosure documents when consenting to background checks. READ MORE

Working closely with a background screening company committed to compliance—like A-Check Global—can help you keep abreast of these evolving laws. If you have questions about your employment program, we welcome your call.

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Marijuana and Drug Testing

The laws surrounding the use of marijuana vary greatly from state to state. Many states have come to accept the use of marijuana for medical reasons, and a few others have even legalized it for recreational use.

But because marijuana is still illegal under federal law, this widely differing legislation can cause problems for a job applicant or employee who tests positive on a drug test.

Federal and State Drug Testing Laws

Under federal law marijuana (cannabis) is classified as a Schedule I substance. Employers in industries that are heavily regulated by the federal government (FAA, FMCSA, FTA, FRA, PHMSA, etc.) are mandated to drug test all new hires and screen employees on a random basis. Non-federally regulated employers aren’t subject to federal laws, but may still have to comply with state and local government laws regulating drug testing.

So how long can marijuana remain in a person’s system?

Though the effects of THC—the main chemical in marijuana—wear off within a few hours of ingesting marijuana, traces of the chemical can remain in the body for weeks. There is no perfect formula for determining exactly how long marijuana stays in someone’s system prior to performing a urine, saliva or hair drug test. However, people who smoked or ingested marijuana in the last:

  • 24-72 hours can fail a saliva test
  • 30-45 days can fail a urine test
  • Up to 90 days can fail a hair follicle test

Factors that can affect how long marijuana stays in a person’s system:

Frequency of use: Someone who has been using marijuana for many years or who uses it daily is likely to have a build-up of THC in their system, meaning it will take longer to leave the body.

Concentration levels of THC: Marijuana can have varying levels TCH potency. If marijuana with a higher THC potency is used, metabolites will remain in the body for longer periods of time.

Methods of use: How marijuana is used can have a significant impact on the amount of time it is detectable. If marijuana is smoked, the THC levels in the drug user’s body will drop within a few hours or days of ceasing use. However, marijuana will still show up on a urine or blood drug test for up to 45 days or more after the last time it was smoked. But if it is ingested, it is metabolized more slowly and will remain detectable longer.

Rate of metabolism: Every person who smokes marijuana has a rate of metabolism that is completely different and this can dramatically alter the way the body breaks down THC. In turn, this can very easily change how many days marijuana will stay in the users system, and ultimately result in a failed drug test.

General Health and Body Weight: THC is stored in the body’s fatty tissue. Those with less fat in their body will clear their system of THC faster than those who have more fat.

Employers have the right to maintain drug and alcohol free work environments through the use of substance abuse screening programs. They just have to make sure they are doing so in compliance with all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations. The best practice is to have a comprehensive drug testing policy which clearly informs applicants and employees of all expectations.

For further reference, here’s a great infographic from Quest Diagnostics that quickly illustrates marijuana legislation by state.

We are here to help!

If you have questions about developing a drug-free policy, or about your current screening program, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Contact A-Check Global here to get started.

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Improving the Candidate Experience

We’ve all been there as job seekers. On the hunt for your first, or next, “dream” job, and hoping for a positive interviewing experience. If you’re on the other side of the table as an employer, it is mission critical to understand the experience you present makes all the difference to your next great hire.

This candidate experience—a term used to describe how candidates feel about your company as they progress through your hiring process—can be positive or negative, depending on how they perceive your company’s treatment of candidates. A bad experience can lead them to lose respect for your company. For example, a bad experience at a restaurant might prompt you to avoid a return visit and perhaps even warn others with tales of your experience. The same thing happens when a candidate has a negative experience with your company. A positive experience however, can encourage candidates to become enthusiastic ambassadors for your brand—even if they don’t ultimately land the job.

Your company’s ability to successfully attract and recruit top talent depends on how well you manage the hiring process. The process is certainly complicated, but try not to lose sight of opportunities to delight your candidates in these areas:

  • The Application: Is you application intuitive? Mobile friendly? Simple and straightforward? Is your application simply an algorithm for keywords, or are you building a process that allows for a candidate’s personality to shine through? Perhaps take a few minutes and apply for a position in your company to see how long the process takes, if all directions make sense, if the look and feel of the application is fresh and current, and if you are able to submit with an initial sense of what your company is all about.
  • Interviewing: Many companies have an involved interview process, with initial and second or third interviews. Take a look at your process. Are your candidates meeting with team panels? One-on-one interviews? Are they waiting to be seen, or is your process a well-oiled tour for candidates so they spend more time with your teams and less time in your lobby. For candidates, the most important thing to do is follow up after the interview to reiterate interest in the position. Likewise, communication along the way is an important step for employers looking to make the most of the candidate experience.
  • Assessment: If you’re assigning standardized tests to assess your candidate’s personality type, talent for the job, cognition, and/or emotional intelligence, are you doing so with full explanation and guidance? Once again, take the tests yourself to see what the process is like. Are these tests available online and are they mobile friendly?
  • Pre-Employment Screening: These days, it’s widely accepted that there will be some manner of background check prior to employment. Have you partnered with a background screening vendor—like A-Check Global—that helps make the process easy, intuitive, and a positive reflection of your company’s commitment to quality hiring?
  • Hiring: We like to refer to it as “Speed to Seat”—the length of time it typically takes for you to fill a position. It can vary of course based on the position, but are you doing all you can to setup interviews, present job offers, and welcome new employees efficiently to your team?

Providing meaningful touch points for every candidate doesn’t have to be difficult and in many cases, just a few adjustments can radically improve the candidate experience. It never hurts to review your hiring process. And if you know where the biggest pain points lie, making improvements in those areas can really make your candidates feel like they made the right decision to apply.