Legislative Alert: Iowa Drug Laws | More Incomplete Records | WA Ban the Box [Video]

3 min

Legislative Alert: Iowa Drug Laws | More Incomplete Records | WA Ban the Box [Video]

Screening News

  • Iowa's New Drug Testing Laws a Bit Confusing
  • DOJ Says Repositories Still Struggling
  • Another Ban the Box State

 

 

Iowa’s New Drug Testing Laws a Bit Confusing

The state of Iowa has been focusing a lot of attention on drug testing laws recently. But some of the things they are changing might make you scratch your head. First, the law regarding on the job alcohol use has been changed to allow employers to take disciplinary action against employees if a test shows they have a blood alcohol level (BAC) as low as .02. Before this amendment, employers couldn’t take adverse action unless an employee was found to have a BAC of .04 or higher. That rule goes into effect on July 1st. On the flip side, state lawmakers are considering a bill that would get rid of all limits on how much THC can be present in cannabis oil. Remember, THC is what gives users the “high,” while CBD blocks some of the negative side effects. Potential side effects of high-THC cannabis are issues like anxiety and paranoia. The proposed bill would also make medical cannabis oil exempt from sales tax and allow doctors to decide what conditions it helps. Sale of the oil will not begin until later this year.

 

DOJ Says Repositories Still Struggling

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has released a survey that shows state criminal history repositories are still not getting the whole story when it comes to the final dispositions in criminal cases. The latest survey specifically looked at 4 months in the middle of 2017. It found that 14 states say 20% or more of all dispositions they received could not be linked to the original arrest or charging information in the state criminal record database. Thirteen states say they don’t even know how many dispositions cannot be linked. Results of felony cases are slow to be entered into the databases. Some take as long as a year. The study also found that more than 2-million cases in 23 states were left hanging because their dispositions were never processed. This should serve as yet another reminder that databases can only give you a piece of the background check puzzle, and should not be depended on as the only source.

 

Another Ban the Box State

Washington State has become the 11th state to ban the box. The “Fair Chance Act” goes into effect on June 7th. The act prohibits employers from including criminal history questions on employment applications. Questions may not be asked until it is determined the applicant is “otherwise qualified” for the position.

 

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