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A-Check Global Honored in HRO Today’s 2022 Baker’s Dozen List of Leading Background Screening Providers

A-Check Global is proud to share that we’ve been included in the 2022 HRO Today’s Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Survey for background screening providers. It is an immense honor to once again be recognized by the most prestigious and recognized survey of its kind in our industry.

HRO Today’s annual Baker’s Dozen Ranking for Pre-Employment Screening Services represents feedback from hundreds of background screening customers and is analyzed across three categories: service breadth, deal size, and overall quality of service.

Everyone here at A-Check Global is thrilled to again be identified by HRO Today as a leader in our industry and a trusted partner for quality, compliant background screening services. That said, we are equally grateful to our clients for your opinion of our service and will continue to do our best every day to delight you with the service you’ve come to know with A-Check Global.

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Compliance Clips for November 2022

CONSUMER REPORTING AND EMPLOYER COMPLIANCE INFORMATION

California
Effective January 1, 2023, new legislation will require California companies with 15 or more employees to post salaries for job listings. It is reported that this new law will help reduce the wage gap and systemic inequities by requiring the disclosure of salary ranges for all job postings. This new law will impose penalties on employers failing to report pay scales to the state.

Pay transparency, although an added responsibility for HR professionals and organizations to manage, is gaining momentum. California will join legislation already effective in New York City, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Washington.
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Nationwide
In related salary news, 21 states (and growing) have restricted an employer’s ability to inquire about an applicant’s salary history, along with 21 other localities. However, laws do vary in their degree of restriction. For example, some only restrict employers from asking about an applicant’s salary history, while others apply to both applicants and existing employees. Additionally, some laws allow employers to discuss salary expectations, while others prohibit employers from searching online for salary histories. As you might expect, we suggest that as legislation on the subject evolves, employers will want to consult with legal counsel for guidance in hiring policy and compliance on state and local law.
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I-9

Document Review Flexibility
And yes, yet another extension to share with you. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have announced another extension—until July 31, 2023—for in-person Form I-9 compliance flexibility. As mentioned before, this flexibility allows employers whose workforce is working remotely to defer the physical presence requirements associated with the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act. While DHS may be considering more permanent changes to the remoted examination of documents, for now, this flexibility is still described as temporary.
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SUBSTANCE ABUSE TESTING

Nationwide
Voters approved recreational marijuana in Maryland and Missouri, bringing the total to 21 states with recreational marijuana use approval. Arkansas and North Dakota voters rejected legalization proposals in Tuesday’s election. This voter approval signals growing support for legalization, even in conservative potions of the country.
READ MORE

California
California Assembly Bill (AB) 2188 (which will take effect on January 1, 2024) makes discrimination against off the job cannabis use unlawful, but does not preempt drug testing for preemployment. The bill makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment based upon: (1) a person’s use of cannabis off the job and away from the workplace, except for preemployment drug screenings, or (2) an employer-required drug screening test that has found the person to have non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites upon testing. Employers: please note that the bill does not permit an employee to possess, be impaired, or use cannabis on the job, nor does it affect the rights or obligations of an employer to maintain a drug- and alcohol-free workplace.
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Please keep in mind that A-Check Global is always here to help as you determine the course of your own employment drug testing.

CONSUMER PRIVACY AND DATA PROTECTION

California
Coming soon: California’s Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) goes into effect on January 1, 2023. While existing law already stands in California—the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)—many new amendments will help bring privacy standards in CA more in alignment with regulations many companies are already familiar with from GDPR.

This quick guide will help companies prepare for CPRA compliance next year. This guide covers important changes such as rights granted to data subjects (consumers), including expanded rights for data deletion extended to third-parties, the opportunity for subjects to correct inaccuracies, the opportunity to object to sharing data for advertising purposes, objection against data processors using AI for decision-making purposes, and more.
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Questions? We’re here to help!

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Compliance Clips for October 2022

CONSUMER REPORTING AND EMPLOYER COMPLIANCE INFORMATION

New York City
Attention New York City employers: Effective January 1, 2023, local law will regulate the use of automated employment decision tools to identify and prohibit actions that discriminate against individuals in protected classes. What does this mean? Essentially, valuable online tools that are increasingly used during the employment process include algorithms and software geared toward finding top talent … but also has potential to impact scoring based on an individual’s gender, race, job title, etc. Generally speaking, New York City law will require that 1) IA tools are subject to a “bias audit” prior to using, and 2) employers will be required to meet certain notice requirements to candidates and employees.
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Update: California DOB Redaction within Court Records
We want to inform you that on September 29, Governor Gavin Newsom chose to veto SB 1262. For employers and the background screening industry, this is very disappointing news as his signature would have meant that previously redacted court case information would be restored beginning January 2023.

PBSA and its allies—including A-Check Global—will continue to work closely together to determine options at this stage. Of course, we will continue to provide our valued clients with updates in the near future. And as always, we thank you for your business.
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Iowa
Let’s work together to minimize your risk from a bad hire! In recent news, an Iowa hospital has been cited by the state for hiring a nurse—without a comprehensive background screen—who was then fired for suspected opioid theft. State inspectors reviewed the hiring process used last fall to employ the nurse and found that the hospital had failed to conduct a complete background check on the individual, including criminal conviction and the state’s Sex Offender Registry. Remember, we’re here to help answer your background screening and compliance question. We’d love to hear from you.
READ MORE

California
Effective January 1, 2023, new legislation will require California companies with 15 or more employees to post salaries for job listings. It is reported that this new law will help reduce the wage gap and systemic inequities by requiring the disclosure of salary ranges for all job postings. This new law will impose penalties on employers failing to report pay scales to the state.
READ MORE

I-9 COMPLIANCE

Document Review Flexibility
Due to the continued momentum of adopting hybrid workforces as well as evolving technology connecting organizations to their remote workers, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently proposed a rule allowing more permanent, alternative procedures when reviewing Employment Eligibility Verification documents required by Form I-9. These revised procedures could be implemented as part of a short-term pilot program or further implemented upon determination that these procedures remain secure and effective as a measure in response to ongoing health and safety efforts regarding COVID. The DHS is accepting comments on this proposed rule before October 17, 2022.
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When Presented with a Restricted Social Security Card
When it comes to Section 2 of Form I-9, a Restricted Social Security card is not an acceptable List C document. This quick video offers helpful guidance on what to do in this situation.
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SUBSTANCE ABUSE TESTING

Nevada
A recent Nevada Supreme Court ruling upheld a decision that state legislation protecting off-duty marijuana use did not include the phrase “under state law,” and therefore falls under the jurisdiction of federal law where use is still illegal. This ruling upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit by an employee who was terminated after testing positive for marijuana on a post-accident drug test. The employee’s claim that his use of marijuana outside of work hours was “lawful use” under state law was rejected, and the court explained that if the legislature intended to protect off-duty use of marijuana, it could have included the phrase “under state law” in the statute, which it doesn’t. Employers, please keep in mind that Nevada’s recreational marijuana law permits employers to adopt and enforce workplace policies prohibiting or restricting the use of marijuana.
READ MORE

California
California Assembly Bill (AB) 2188 (which will take effect on January 1, 2024) makes discrimination against off the job cannabis use unlawful, but does not preempt drug testing for preemployment. The bill makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment based upon: (1) a person’s use of cannabis off the job and away from the workplace, except for preemployment drug screenings, or (2) an employer-required drug screening test that has found the person to have non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites upon testing. Employers: please note that the bill does not permit an employee to possess, be impaired, or use cannabis on the job, nor does it affect the rights or obligations of an employer to maintain a drug- and alcohol-free workplace.
READ MORE

New Jersey
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission has issued “workplace impairment” guidance for employers who conduct marijuana testing—providing best procedures to help support drug testing practices. the Commission details that employers are required to “establish evidence-based protocols for documenting observed behavior and physical signs of impairment to develop reasonable suspicion, and then to utilize a drug test to verify whether or not an individual has used an impairing substance in recent history.”
READ MORE

Please keep in mind that A-Check Global is always here to help as you determine the course of your own employment drug testing.

BAN THE BOX

Harris County, Texas
Harris County represents the sixth Texas city or county to adopt a Ban the Box hiring policy. This Harris County policy applies only to public employers, not private employers. Ban the Box legislation has continued to gain momentum throughout the country. In fact, 37 states and more than 150 cities/counties have enacted Ban the Box legislation to help ensure that employers first consider an applicant’s skills and qualifications before viewing criminal history. This provides greater assurance that there is no negative bias to an employment application due to criminal convictions.
READ MORE

Questions? We’re here to help!

Featured

Compliance Clips for September 2022

CONSUMER REPORTING AND EMPLOYER COMPLIANCE INFORMATION

Pay Transparency Legislation
21 states and a number of local jurisdictions already have pay transparency laws that require employers to disclose pay ranges to job applicants and employees. This growing legislation trend means employers should take a closer look at job applications and postings to ensure they are compliant—especially as overall hiring becomes more detailed due to ongoing remote workforce options and multi-state hiring. All in all, it’s always a great time to review hiring practices with your legal counsel.
READ MORE

FCRA Litigation
Let’s work together to help minimize the risk of class action FCRA lawsuits. In this case example, an organization recently agreed to a $225k settlement for violation of FCRA by failing to provide pre-adverse action notices when using background screening reports to make decisions regarding applicants and employees. As a reminder, if the background check information results in an adverse action decision, a notice of pre-adverse action, along with a copy of the background check results and a copy of the Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act must be presented to the individual. The individual must then be allowed at least five business days to dispute the information in the background check. If after that period of time adverse action is taken upon final decision, the individual must be provided with a final notice of adverse action.
READ MORE

New York City
Attention New York City employers: Effective January 1, 2023, local law will regulate the use of automated employment decision tools to identify and prohibit actions that discriminate against individuals in protected classes. What does this mean? Essentially, valuable online tools that are increasingly used during the employment process include algorithms and software geared toward finding top talent … but also has potential to impact scoring based on an individual’s gender, race, job title, etc. Generally speaking, New York City law will require that 1) IA tools are subject to a “bias audit” prior to using, and 2) employers will be required to meet certain notice requirements to candidates and employees.
READ MORE

I-9

I-9 Deadline
It’s worth one more reminder that the employer deadline was July 31, to update expired List B (proof of identification) with current proofs of identification for employees hired between May 1, 2020 and April 30, 2022 who presented an expired document. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adopted the temporary policy flexibility in response to challenges employers faced with renewing these documents during COVID. Now that document-issuing authorities have reopened and/or provided alternatives to in-person renewals, the DHS ended this flexibility May 1, 2022, and employers must once again accept only unexpired List B documents.
READ MORE

SUBSTANCE ABUSE TESTING

In the News: Mushrooms
With some discussion at the state level around decriminalization of mushroom microdosing, it’s worth mentioning that while mushrooms won’t show up on most routine drug tests, drug contamination (lacing) likely will. Mushrooms generally won’t show up on a 5-panel test. Same goes for 8-, 10-, and 12-panel tests, but certain specialized tests might detect them. What’s interesting is that there have been reports of people selling regular, store-bought mushrooms laced with other drugs, including PCP, which is detected by most panel tests. So in general, while most organizations probably aren’t testing for mushrooms, applicants may inadvertently return a non-negative test depending on what they’ve unknowingly ingested.
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Missouri
Missouri voters will have a chance to vote on a proposed initiative to legalize recreational marijuana during this November’s general election. If passed, legislation would amend the Missouri Constitution to legalize the possession and use of marijuana for those 21 and older, allowing adults to purchase up to three ounces of marijuana at a time. The measure also allows adults who obtain a registration card to cultivate marijuana at home.
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North Dakota
Also up for vote in 2022, North Dakota voters will have the chance to decide on marijuana legalization at the ballot this November. The initiative would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis and grow up to three plants for personal use. Its provisions largely mirror the House-passed legalization bill that was ultimately rejected by the Senate.
READ MORE

Please keep in mind that A-Check Global is always here to help as you determine the course of your own employment drug testing.

BAN THE BOX

Harris County, Texas
Harris County represents the sixth Texas city or county to adopt a Ban the Box hiring policy. This Harris County policy applies only to public employers, not private employers. Ban the Box legislation has continued to gain momentum throughout the country. In fact, 37 states and more than 150 cities/counties have enacted Ban the Box legislation to help ensure that employers first consider an applicant’s skills and qualifications before viewing criminal history. This provides greater assurance that there is no negative bias to an employment application due to criminal convictions.
READ MORE

Questions? We’re here to help!

Featured

Compliance Clips for August 2022

CONSUMER REPORTING AND EMPLOYER COMPLIANCE INFORMATION

EEOC ADA Guidance
Under the EEOC’s newest guidance, employers can be liable for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act if artificial intelligence technology used to make employment-related decisions discriminates against individuals with disabilities. While employers are increasingly using AI decision systems for hiring and evaluation, it might be surprising to learn that these tools may unknowingly lead to discrimination. Specifically, there may be failure to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities, or worse yet, there could be potential to screen out individuals with disabilities. The EEOC recommends making the hiring process transparent by providing instructions for accommodation that are easy to find and follow.
READ MORE

FCRA Litigation
Let’s work together to help minimize the risk of class action FCRA lawsuits. Employers must provide job applicants with a standalone disclosure stating the employer may obtain the applicant’s consumer report when making a hiring decision. In the case discussed here, it was alleged that an employer willfully violated the FCRA by providing candidates with disclosure that included extraneous language not related to consumer reporting.
READ MORE

It’s because of cases like these that A-Check Global maintains a sharp focus on background screening compliance. We routinely ask that our valued clients check, double-, and triple-check to ensure that your employment consumer reporting is FCRA compliant. When an employer uses a third party (like A-Check Global) to conduct background checks, there are FCRA compliance requirements that must be followed. For your convenience, here’s a short checklist of key requirements:

Ensure there is a permissible purpose for performing a background check on an applicant/employee, based on their role and responsibilities.

Provide clear written notice in a stand-alone document to the applicant/employee that a background check will be conducted, and the resulting information will be used to make an employment decision.

Obtain the applicant/employee’s written consent to perform a background check and/or investigative report.

If the background check information results in an adverse action decision, a notice of pre-adverse action, along with a copy of the background check results and a copy of the Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, must be presented to the individual.

Allow the individual at least five business days to dispute the information in the background check.

If adverse action is taken upon final decision, provide the individual with a final notice of adverse action.

We’re focused on helping you remain compliant, and always welcome your questions.
READ MORE

I-9

I-9 Deadline
A quick reminder that the employer deadline was July 31, to update expired List B (proof of identification) with current proofs of identification for employees hired between May 1, 2020 and April 30, 2022 who presented an expired document. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adopted the temporary policy flexibility in response to challenges employers faced with renewing these documents during COVID. Now that document-issuing authorities have reopened and/or provided alternatives to in-person renewals, the DHS ended this flexibility May 1, 2022, and employers must once again accept only unexpired List B documents.
READ MORE

SUBSTANCE ABUSE TESTING

California Law
Recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that under California law, job applicants were not entitled to compensation or travel expenses for the time required to take a pre-employment drug test. It is worth noting that this case is limited to pre-employment drug testing. It does not discuss drug testing for existing employees. The compliance reminder here—for those employers including drug testing as part of the employment process—is to ensure you make it clear to your candidates that any employment offer extended is contingent upon passing a pre-employment drug test.
READ MORE

Drug Testing Analysis
Drug test positivity reaches highest level in two decades, as reported by Quest Diagnostics. According to drug testing analysis based on more than 11 million drug test lab results conducted throughout 2021 by Quest Diagnostics, the rate of drug test positivity across the combined U.S. workforce hit a two-decade high last year. This is 30% higher than recorded all-time lows in 2010-2012, bringing added recruiting complexity to HR professionals hiring for safe, healthy workplaces. The Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index Analysis looks at the combined U.S. workforce including private employers with company testing policies, as well as federally mandated, safety-sensitive positions such as federal employees and transportation positions like pilots, forklift operators, etc. The overall positivity rate for this combined workforce was 4.6% in 2021, up from 4.4% in 2020. In comparison to just a decade ago between 2010 and 2012, overall positivity was 3.5%.
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Washington D.C.
The Washington, D.C. city council passed the Cannabis Employment Protections Amendment Act, with employment protection for recreational and medical marijuana use. Congress has 60 days to review this act before becoming law. The Cannabis Employment Protections Amendment Act prohibits employers, with certain exceptions, from refusing to hire, terminating from employment, suspending, failing to promote, or otherwise penalizing due to an individual’s use of cannabis.
READ MORE

Please keep in mind that A-Check Global is always here to help as you determine the course of your own employment drug testing.

Questions? We’re here to help!