Legislative Alert - Friday, May 13th, 2016:  A Detroit High School to Begin Drug Testing Students [Video]

About 6 min

Legislative Alert - Friday, May 13th, 2016:  A Detroit High School to Begin Drug Testing Students [Video]


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  • SEPTA Facing Huge Lawsuit over Background Checks
  • Background Checks for Church Volunteers?
  • A Detroit School to Drug Test Students



SEPTA Facing Huge Lawsuit over Background Checks

A lawsuit has been filed against the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) for allegedly violating both federal and state laws when it comes to using background checks in its hiring process. SEPTA is the 6th largest public transportation system in the country. 

According to papers filed in Federal court in Philadelphia, this class action has two parts. First, it accuses the Authority of violating the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) because it does not provide a clear and conspicuous disclosure that lets applicants know background checks will be used for hiring decisions. 

The suit also claims SEPTA violated Pennsylvania’s Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA) because it disqualified applicants based on convictions that had nothing to do with the job for which they were applying.


Background Checks for Church Volunteers? 

Rhode Island State Senator Cynthia Coyne is sponsoring legislation that would give religious institutions the ability to use the national criminal record database to do background checks on anyone applying for a job or to volunteer with children. Coyne says the fact that so many of these organizations depend on volunteers makes them easy targets for those looking for access to potential victims. 

The law won’t mandate background checks across the board, but if a religious institution wants to require it, they will be able to make it a condition if someone wants to volunteer and will have access to the state’s Bureau of Criminal Identification to see if these would-be helpers have been convicted of any crimes. The legislation will also protect churches and other organizations from liability if they refuse to accept a volunteer based on the results of the background check.


A Detroit School to Drug Test Students 

Summer break might be on students' minds right now, but when they return in the fall, some in Michigan might be faced with random drug testing. Starting in August, Detroit Catholic Central High School will choose 25 students every month to test for marijuana and several other drugs. 

The president of the private school says parents are mostly in favor of the hair testing plan. Reverend John Huber says the goal of the program is to prevent abuse -- not punish kids for it. When students test positive they will be given access to counseling and programs to help them quit. They could be expelled if they fail the test twice. 


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