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To Test…or Not to Test…for Marijuana

As you might imagine, A-Check gets a lot of questions from our clients regarding marijuana legalization and new drug testing trends we’re seeing as a result. We love fielding questions like these, mainly because it shows our clients take evolving legislation seriously when developing or enhancing employment screening programs.

We thought this might be a good opportunity to very quickly share some helpful information on the topic, especially for those who are wondering whether or not to continue testing for marijuana in their drug screens.

First, with a growing number of states legalizing recreational marijuana, it stands to reason—and research supports—drug test positivity across the majority of industries is also on the rise. It is also shown that marijuana continues to be among the most commonly detected substances.

A-Check closely tracks overall drug screening activity across our own clients, and we can report that even with widening recreational and medical marijuana legalization, clients are still testing for marijuana 98% of the time. Of course, pre-employment testing can vary by screening package, state, or job position (safety-sensitive for example). And for post-employment testing (either for post-accident or for reasonable suspicion) we continue to test for marijuana 100% of the time.

Taking this one step further, Quest Diagnostics—our drug screening partner—shares insight with us regarding marijuana testing. They report that across all Quest national testing (pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, etc.) approximately 98-99% of all urine tests include marijuana. As a separate group, testing for marijuana in recreational use states is still nearly 95%. That does not represent a significant declining trend due to increasing legalization.

Finally, let’s take a quick look at a very recent position paper from the National Safety Council (NSC), stating that while the amount of THC detectable in a person’s body does not directly correlate with a level of impairment, NSC believes it is unsafe to be under the influence of cannabis while working in a safety-sensitive position. Further evidence that perhaps we will not see a significant decline in marijuana testing for some time.

We hope insight like this is helpful to you, and welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you might have regarding your drug screening needs.

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In Compliance News:

Upcoming changes to Illinois law will prohibit salary history inquiries & require review of employer drug policies

Salary History Inquiry Ban – Effective September 29, 2019
Amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act (IEPA) become effective September 29, 2019. Included is a ban prohibiting inquiry into and the use of a candidate’s pay history when making employment decisions. Illinois employers will be prohibited from a) screening candidates based on current/prior wages, benefits, and other compensation, b) requiring that salary history meets minimum/maximum criteria for a particular position, and c) requesting salary history as a condition of being considered for employment. Illinois joins with 13 states that have imposed such a ban. For full details on this amendment, we welcome you to READ MORE.

Employment Aspects of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act – Effective January 1, 2020
The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA)—“Recreational Marijuana Law”—takes effect Jan. 1, 2020. Please keep in mind, there are provisions that may require employers to modify drug use policies:

  • Employers must have good faith belief that an employee was impaired or under the influence in the workplace, defined by identifying specific, articulable symptoms of impairment.
  • If the employee is disciplined or discharged for being impaired by marijuana, there must be reasonable opportunity to contest the basis of the employer’s determination.
  • And, because marijuana use will be legal outside the workplace, employers will likely not be able to rely on the results of testing alone to satisfy the good faith belief requirement, even in post-accident situations, if there is no reasonable suspicion that the employee was impaired by or under the influence of marijuana at the time of the accident.

For full details on all upcoming provisions to the Illinois CRTA, please READ MORE and be prepared for further review or revision of your current drug testing and disciplinary polices where necessary to comply with CRTA.

Questions? We’re here to help. Please feel free to give us a call at 877-345-2021.

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Hurricane Dorian: Potential Background Screening Service Delays

09/04/2019 UPDATE: Schools, businesses, and courts within the coastal counties of Georgia and South Carolina are closing at this time ahead of Hurricane Dorian. Minor delays are anticipated. Further updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

09/03/2019: Just a quick note as we continue to monitor the path of Hurricane Dorian. At this time, the hurricane is expected to impact many southern and coastal areas, and we are anticipating delays throughout Florida and the following Georgia counties:

Brantley GA, Bryan GA, Camden GA, Charlton GA, Chatham GA, Effingham GA, Glynn GA, Liberty GA, Long GA, McIntosh GA, Pierce GA, and Wayne GA.

Further updates will be noted here as we begin to see the full impact.

 

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Drug Screening Trends

DSCI

As your trusted partner, we want to make sure you are up to date on issues that may affect you so we monitor new legislation in regards to all facets of employment screening. We found a recent article by the Drug Screening Compliance Institute that details the ongoing evolution of drug legislation, and the resulting adjustments many employers in a growing number of states have to make to their employment programs. There’s never been a more important time for employers to keep an eye on state laws and be prepared to audit/adjust their drug screening policy.

The full article can be found here.

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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Nevada Becomes First State to Restrict Employer Use of Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing

marijuana

Just a quick note to illustrate how pre-employment drug testing continues to evolve as legislation addresses increasing legalization of Marijuana for medicinal and recreational use. On June 5, 2019, the Nevada Governor signed Assembly Bill 132, making it unlawful for any Nevada employer to fail or refuse to hire an employment candidate who tests positive for marijuana on a pre-employment drug test. This law is effective January 1, 2020, and while of course there are exceptions (positions for firefighters and emergency technicians for example), it illustrates that more and more employers in the future may need to review their drug testing or substance abuse policies as legislation potentially changes state by state.

We welcome you to READ MORE.