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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.

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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.