We understand that many of our clients and future partners have questions about our industry and the products and services we offer.  For your convenience, we have gathered many of those important human resources questions and answers to educate you and help you make better screening and hiring decisions.  This section was created as a convenience to our site visitors and should not be taken in anyway as legal advice.  If you don’t find your answer here, please feel free to contact us at our toll free number (800) 324-7700 and one of our friendly staff will assist you.

BACKGROUND SCREENING

What is Due Diligence?

Taking reasonable and preventative business hiring measures in order to protect your assets and avoid negligent hiring litigation and workplace violence.  In today's ever-changing economy, employers are searching even harder to cut costs, streamline operations and get more out of their most important asset, their employees.  The right workforce is essential for providing the tools to make a brand successful in today's marketplace.  Comprehensive background screening demonstrates due diligence and provides you with a great deal of legal protection. 

How can Negligent Hiring affect my business?

Negligent hiring lawsuits can cost businesses millions of dollars when an employer is found to be responsible for their employees’ actions. 

What types of background screening services are available?

EBI's award winning screening services include Social Security Number Verification and Trace, County Criminal Records Search, State Criminal Records Search, Instant Criminal History, Federal Criminal Records Search, Sex Offender Records Search, Civil Records Search, Motor Vehicle Records Check, Credit Report Check, International Homeland Security Search (OFAC), Healthcare Sanctions Report (HSR), Education / Degree Verification, Employment Verification, Military, License and Professional Certification Verification, Workers Compensation Records, Professional Reference Checks, and much more.

What is a consumer report?

Any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer's credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living which is used or expected to be used or collected in whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing the consumer's eligibility for employment purposes. 

What are employment purposes?

When used in connection with a consumer report, information is collected for the purpose of evaluating a consumer for employment, promotion, reassignment or retention as an employee. 

What is an investigative consumer report?

A consumer report or portion thereof in which information about the applicant's character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living is obtained and used for employment purposes through personal reference interviews with neighbors, friends, or associates.  On the other hand, a basic consumer report only contains factual information such as dates of employment, payment history, graduation information or license numbers. 

What is an adverse action?

A denial of employment or any other decision for employment purposes that adversely affects any current or prospective employee. 

What if the employee or applicant says information in the report is inaccurate?

They have the right to dispute inaccurate and incomplete information, and you must also give the individual information about how to dispute information in the report.  If you give a pre-adverse action notice, the FCRA requires you to also give the employee or applicant a copy of the report.  At that time you must also give the employee the name, address, and telephone number of the company that conducted the background check. 

Do I need to fax you the release that my applicant signed?

No, but the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that your applicants must express written permission for you to access any of their information, and it is necessary that you keep this signed document for review.  Occasionally, we may request copies of the signed release forms for audit purposes.  Frequently, our sources of information will require that we provide a copy of this written permission to them. 

Does a nonprofit organization have to follow the FCRA when screening volunteers?

When the investigation is conducted by a consumer reporting agency, the answer is yes.  This is especially true for those organizations where employees and volunteers work closely with children, the elderly, or the disabled.

Why should I search for County criminal records if I can search the State Criminal Records Repository?

Based upon our own prior experience, State repository databases are normally less complete.  The state repositories rely on the various agencies to report information.  Not all courts participate and not all information from participating counties is reported in real-time. 

Do you use database searches for your criminal record searches?

EBI does offer instant criminal background checks in specific or supplementary cases. However, our county criminal record searches are all conducted by hand-searching criminal records directly at the courthouse.  By hand-searching records directly at the courthouse, our experienced researchers can ensure that we are providing the most accurate and up-to-date information possible.

Will I be in compliance with the many laws and regulations that govern the screening process?

At EBI, we ensure you that you will be 100% compliant with all applicable legal standards.  By using our background screening services, employers and applicants alike can rest assured that their rights are protected.  EBI provides our clients with the appropriate forms including notices of consumer rights.  We will also provide the applicant a copy of their report when requested.  EBI will provide an applicant with the appropriate notices of adverse action required by the FCRA when requested to do so by an employer.  EBI complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and other International, Federal, State and Local laws concerning privacy and discrimination. 

Why does our business have to undergo a site inspection in order to obtain credit reports?

As part of our contractual compliance agreement with the Trans Union Credit bureau, each client or "End User” of consumer credit reports must undergo a site inspection which will need to be conducted by an approved third party of the credit bureaus.  This inspection must be conducted at every client site and/or branch location, and includes an onsite visit, questionnaire and further verification of information regarding the principals of the firm. 

Why do you need additional information from the applicant pertaining to Father’s name, Mother’s maiden name, or national identification number when performing international searches?

Names and identification numbers are used differently in each country.  Many Spanish speaking countries use the Mother’s maiden name to track lineage.  The Father is important for searches in India.  In instances where there are common names, this ensures an accurate search. 

Why do international searches take longer than domestic searches?

There can be language barriers, time differences, and name variations depending on the country.  Many schools and employers in these countries may not have computerized systems or staff specially designated to immediately complete verification requests.  

Why does EBI sometimes need a copy of the applicant’s diploma for international?

Internationally, "diploma mills” have been a problem for years.  Some international education institutions may require a copy of the subject’s diploma as an extra measure to determine the authenticity of the degree.  Additionally, a copy of the degree will usually contain additional information to assist representatives at the schools with locating records in a more timely fashion. 

Will our information be secure and remain confidential?

At EBI, we have made it our mission to be dedicated to the secure transaction of all confidential and personal information through the professional management of our online systems and appliances.  We employ the "best-in-class” industry methods and tools to measure, monitor and secure all of your vital information. 

What is Safe Harbor?

In order to bridge privacy approaches and provide a streamlined means for U.S. organizations to comply with the European Commission’s Directive on Data Protection, the U.S. Department of Commerce in consultation with the European Commission developed a "safe harbor" framework.  The Directive prohibits the transfer of personal data to non-European Union nations that do not meet the European "adequacy" standard for privacy protection.  

How does EBI’s screening program work?

Our award winning suite of screening programs are integrated seamlessly into your hiring process.  After receiving your request for a background investigation, EBI will conduct your requested searches and verifications by using our wide array of public records as well as our own unique information databases.  EBI will also contact previous employers and educational institutions as well as licensing authorities, the military and much more when requested.  We have many top screening programs for you to choose from. 

Who can I contact for further information on EBI’s award winning services?

Simply call us toll free at 800.324.7700 or email us at sales@ebiinc.com.  An EBI Employment Screening Specialist will contact you to discuss all of your unique screening needs and objectives.

Drug Testing

We understand that many of our clients and future partners have questions about the screening industry and the products and services we offer.  For your convenience, we have gathered many of those important questions and answers to educate you and help you make better screening and hiring decisions.  This section was created as a convenience to our site visitors and should not be taken in anyway as legal advice.  If you don’t find your answer here, please feel free to contact us at our toll free number (800) 324-7700 and one of our friendly staff will assist you.

Why drug test?

Having a well established random drug testing program does not mean that you do not trust or even like your employees.  It means that you care enough about their safety and workplace security to protect them, and yourself, from the costs of on-the-job alcohol and drug abuse.  Random testing programs have proven effective in reducing workplace incidents and lowering worker’s compensation claims, saving employers money.  

What do I need?

All drug tests require a chain of custody form from a qualified drug-testing laboratory.  You will need to select the reason for test as well as the test code on the form when you send the applicant for the test.

What does the donor need?

The donor will need to have their copy of the chain of custody form in hand when they go to the collection site as well as a photo ID to present to the collector.  

What is a chain of custody form?

Chain of custody is the process of ensuring and providing documentation of proper specimen identification and handling from the time of collection to the receipt of laboratory results.  Positive specimens not handled exactly and according to chain-of-custody protocols may in some cases be successfully challenged.

Where should individuals go for their test?

If you are set up with one of the major laboratories, then you can use any one of the patient service centers (PSCs) that these labs have nationwide.  If, however, an individual is not in a location served by a PSC, then you will need to contact our office at 800.324.7700 to set up a third party collection site.  

As an employer, how do I know if I am subject to DOT testing?

Generally, Department of Transportation regulations cover safety-sensitive transportation employers and employees.  Each Department of Transportation agency (FRA, FMCSA, FTA, FAA, PHMSA), as well as the U.S. Coast Guard, have specific drug and alcohol testing regulations that outline the agency's prohibitions on drug and alcohol use:

  • Who is subject to the regulations

  • What testing is authorized

  • When testing is authorized

  • Consequences of non-compliance

What is the difference between a DOT drug test and a Non-DOT drug test?

A DOT drug screen tests a specimen for five drugs—opiates, PCP, amphetamines/methamphetamines, marijuana and cocaine.  A DOT-approved chain-of-custody form is used during the collection process, a split sample is collected and the specimens are forwarded to the laboratory for testing.  Following the MRO's review, results are reported to the designated reporting agency.  A non-DOT drug screen can be expanded into a 10-panel drug screen by testing for the above five drugs and adding barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methadone, methaqualone and propoxyphene.

What is a Medical Review Officer?

A licensed physician with a history of substance abuse diagnostic work.  Per DOT regulations all DOT drug screens must be reviewed by an MRO.  Many states also require an MRO review, and this service is available for non-DOT testing if desired.  Services include the interpretation and evaluation of test results from confirmed positive, adulterated and substituted specimens in addition to the employee's medical history or other relevant biomedical information necessary to determine if there is a legitimate explanation for a confirmed positive test.

What is SAMHSA?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Established in 1992, SAMHSA was created as a services agency to focus attention, programs, and funding on improving the lives of people with or at risk for mental and substance abuse disorders.  SAMHSA works to ensure that people with or at risk for a mental or addictive disorder have the opportunity for a fulfilling life that includes a job, a home, and meaningful relationships with family and friends.

What is a "false” positive?

During a screening, if the test detects a drug it is called a non-negative or "presumed" positive.  If the drug detected is one you are taking through prescription at your doctor's orders, it is a negative, or negated positive.  Some over-the-counter medications will preliminarily test non-negative (positive), but the confirmatory tests will rule out any non-illicit substances.  What is generally called a "false" positive is simply a result which has not been confirmed.

Will commonly used items such as vitamins, penicillin, aspirin, caffeine and acetaminophen (Tylenol) affect the results?

No - the results are not affected by these substances.  The commonly taken medications are chemically and structurally different after being metabolized by the body from the drugs being tested for and do not interfere with the test results in most cases. 

Is it possible to beat a drug test?

The only 100 percent guaranteed method  to pass a screening is to avoid using illegal drugs.  Laboratories test for the presence of substances intended to alter test results.  Laboratories can now detect if an individual took a substance to alter results or has diluted the specimen by drinking lots of water.  Occasionally, a subject may also attempt to substitute a counterfeit urine specimen or other liquid, but this too can be detected.  

What are random drug tests?

Random drug tests are used by employers as a preventive tool to try and discourage drug use in the workplace.  Random drug testing is a scientific process that selects employees for drug testing on a monthly or quarterly basis.  Department of Transportation regulations require all DOT regulated employees in safety sensitive positions to be in a random population and EBI can make this process easier by managing your random population and performing your selections for you.  Employers that are not subject to Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations can utilize EBI to setup and manage their random programs as well.

How do I order more drug testing supplies?

When you are logged into the drug testing results page, you can use the "Order Supplies” link highlighted in orange on the top navigation bar to order any chain of custodies or miscellaneous drug testing supplies that you may need.

How long will it take to receive my results?

Drug Tests generally take 24 to 36 hours to complete.  If, however, a test has to undergo any further testing or reviewed by an MRO then it may take longer.  Our office will be more than happy to assist you to determine the status of any outstanding tests.  

Where do I log in for my results?

The drug testing website can be accessed using our "Client Login” button on the top-right corner of our home page.  This will bring up a new window.  The link for the drug testing website is listed underneath of the login for background screening.  

Who provides my username and password?

One of our associates in the Occupational Healthcare Department will provide you with your username and password when you sign up for your drug testing account with EBI.  

What do I need to view the results?

Other than a functional Internet browser 5.1 or higher, we recommend that you have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the results.  Results are posted to the website in PDF format.  You may receive a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader at www.adobe.com

How long are drug testing results on the website?

Drug testing results are on our website for as long as you are a client with EBI.  For your convenience, the most recent results will always be listed at the top of the page when you perform a general search.  

What if I don’t see a result or have a question regarding a result?

If you are looking for a result and it has been longer than 36-hours since the individual has gone for the drug screen, then you should contact our office to look into the status of the drug test.  If you have any questions regarding the results, you can also contact our office with questions at 800.324.7700 or email us at DTCS@ebiinc.com.

Occupational Health Screening

We understand that many of our clients and future partners have questions about our industry and the products and services we offer.  For your convenience, we have gathered many of those important questions and answers to educate you and help you make better screening and hiring decisions.  This section was created as a convenience to our site visitors and should not be taken in anyway as legal advice.  If you don’t find your answer here, please feel free to contact us at our toll free number (800) 324-7700 and our friendly staff will assist you.  

How often do workplace injuries and illnesses occur?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses among private industry employers occurred at a rate of 4.4 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2006.  In addition, there were 4288 fatal injuries this same year.  

What are the most common workplace hazards?

Some of the most frequent hazards include asbestos, carbon monoxide, electric and magnetic fields, falls, hazardous drug exposures, heat stress, latex allergies, storms and floods, lead and noise.

What are the most common illnesses and injuries?

Some of the common injuries include asthma, allergies, avian influenza, blood borne infectious diseases, hearing loss, musculoskeletal disorders, occupational cancer, stress and traumatic occupational injuries.  

Which employees are the most vulnerable?

The most frequent illnesses and injuries occur in agriculture, construction, fire fighting, health care workers, mining, office environments and at small businesses.

Why should my business conduct physical examinations?

Physicals establish an employee’s medical condition at their date of hire, which creates a medical and legal information base, thus reducing legal liability.  Physical exam recommendations also enable employers with information necessary fit the employee with the correct job position, relocate the employee to a more suitable position when possible or even reconsider their offer of employment.  In some cases, the U.S. Department of Transportation makes physical examinations mandatory to ensure public safety.  

Why should my business only conduct physical examinations after an offer of employment has been made?

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that employers conduct pre-employment physical exams only as the second step of the selection process after all relevant non-medical information is analyzed.  This two-step structure allows applicants to keep personal medical information private until the last stage of the hiring process.  

What is the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970, and how does it apply to my business?

The OSH Act assigns two principal functions to OSHA: setting standards and conducting workplace inspections to ensure that employers are providing a safe and healthy workplace.  It is the responsibility of employers to become familiar with standards applicable to their establishments, to eliminate hazardous conditions to the extent possible, and to comply with the standards.  Compliance may include ensuring that employees have and use personal protective equipment when required for safety or health.  Employees must comply with all rules and regulations that are applicable to their own actions and conduct.  
In general, coverage of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970 Act extends to all employers and their employees in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and all other territories under federal government jurisdiction.  Coverage is provided either directly by the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or through an OSHA-approved state occupational safety and health program, in states that have approved programs.

The following are generally not covered by the OSH Act:

  • Self-employed persons 

  • Farms at which only immediate members of the farmer's family are employed 

  • Working conditions regulated by other federal agencies under other federal statutes.  This includes most employment in mining, nuclear energy and nuclear weapons manufacture and many segments of the transportation industries. 

State and local government employees, unless they are in one of the states with OSHA-approved safety and health programs.  

What are our OSH Act responsibilities as an employer?

If you are an employer covered by the OSH Act, you must provide your employees with jobs and a place of employment free from recognized hazards that are causing, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm.  

What are the requirements for a DOT physical?

DOT physical exams are required for most truck and school bus drivers, to determine physical qualification to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce according to the requirements in 49 CFR 391.41-49.  The physical includes the following:

  • Health History 

  • Vision Test

  • Hearing Test 

  • Blood Pressure Test 

  • Urinalysis 

  • Physical Examination

 

How often is a DOT physical required?

DOT physicals are normally valid for a two year period.

What is NIOSH?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness.  NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services.

What is the importance of an audiogram?

Audiometric evaluation is crucial to the success of the hearing loss prevention program as a tool to determine whether occupational hearing loss is being prevented.  Occupational hearing loss occurs gradually and is not accompanied by pain.  Audiometric test results can trigger changes in the hearing loss prevention program more promptly, initiating protective measures and motivating employees to prevent further hearing loss.  

Can you please tell us more about a Titmus Vision test?

Titmus is the industry standard in vision screening instruments.  The Titmus Vision Screener tests for Acuity (Near-14 inches and Far-20 feet), Depth Perception, Color Perception, Muscle Balance (Lateral and Vertical Phoria), Horizontal Visual Fields (Peripheral vision of 130 degrees in each eye) in one lightweight, compact and easy-to-use instrument.  The Titmus Vision Screener can also screen for visual acuity at Intermediate Distances (40, 32, 26, 22 and 19 inches).

In addition to drug use, what else can a Urinalysis test determine?

Urinalysis can reveal diseases that have gone unnoticed because they do not produce striking signs or symptoms.  Examples include diabetes mellitus, various forms of glomerulonephritis, and chronic urinary tract infections.  

What is a Pulmonary Function Test?

Pulmonary function tests are a group of tests that measure how well the lungs take in and release air and how well they move oxygen into the blood.  

What is an Electrocardiogram (EKG)?

An electrocardiogram, is a simple test to detect and record the electrical activity of the heart.  An EKG shows how fast the heart is beating and also records the strength and timing of the electrical signals as they pass through each part of the heart.  An EKG is sometimes called a 12-lead EKG (or 12-lead ECG) because the electrical activity of the heart is most often recorded from 12 different places on the body at the same time.  

What will an Electrocardiogram (EKG) determine?

EKG recordings of this electrical activity can help reveal a number of heart problems including:

  • Heart attack or disease 

  • Lack of blood flow to the heart muscle 

  • A heart that is beating irregularly, or too fast or too slow 

  • A heart that does not pump forcefully enough

What is a Complete Blood Count (CBC)?

The CBC is a very common test.  Many patients will have baseline CBC tests as a broad screening test to check for such disorders as anemia, infection, and many other diseases.  Many conditions result in increases or decreases in the cell populations.  Some diseases such as cancer (and chemotherapy treatment) can affect bone marrow production of cells, increasing the production of one cell at the expense of others or decreasing overall cell production.  If they are healthy and they have cell populations that are within normal limits, then they may not require another CBC until their health status changes or until their doctor feels that it is necessary.

How will an employee vaccination program help our business?

An employee vaccination program can assist your company by reducing health care provider visits, reducing lost work days and maintaining productivity.  This is especially useful for employees planning to travel to locations with known disease potential.  Some of the most common vaccinations include HAV, HBV, Influenza, MMR, IPV, PPD and Varicella.

What is a Titer?

A titer refers to the amount of medicine or antibodies found in a patient's blood.  A titers blood test can be very helpful in determining medical treatment.  Antibody titers can tell the doctor if the patient has immunity to diseases such as measles, small pox, and hepatitis.  Medication titers can tell if a person is receiving too much medication.