Screening News Update: E-Verify Working | Marijuana Positivity Rates | Stricter Teacher Checks

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Screening News Update: E-Verify Working | Marijuana Positivity Rates | Stricter Teacher Checks

  • E-Verify Up and Running
  • Cities with the Highest Marijuana Positivity Rates
  • Tougher Teacher Screening in Nation’s Capital

E-Verify Up and Running

The partial government shutdown caused headaches for employers who depend on the E-Verify system to confirm their new hires are eligible to work in the US. Now that the system is up and running again, there is work to do, and there is a clock ticking. If you hired anyone during the shutdown, you have until February 11th to enter all of their information into the system. You need to be sure to use the hire date on their Form I-9. If more than three days have passed since that hire date, you need to choose “Other” from the drop-down list and type in “E-Verify not available” to explain the filing delay. There are more steps employers need to follow for dealing with a tentative non-confirmation for a hire during the shutdown. For the whole list of instructions check out this helpful E-Verify page. 

Cities with the Highest Marijuana Positivity Rates

The Screening News Network is headquartered in Owings Mills, Maryland. Topping our local news this week is the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s brash announcement that she no longer plans to prosecute ANY marijuana possession charges, regardless of the quantity. The police are not on board with this new plan, neither are members of the state legislature which has legalized medical marijuana but has not made the leap to recreational. This is just one of the many legal quandaries the constantly changing marijuana laws have created across the country.

In the midst of these growing complications, Quest Diagnostics has published a report that shows marijuana positivity rates in the American workforce are up for the 5th consecutive year, and researchers say there is no sign the trend is slowing down.

Here are the top 10 states and their positivity rates:

  1. Oregon (3.9%)
  2. Maine (3.5%)
  3. Massachusetts (3.1%)
  4. Rhode Island (3.1%)
  5. Vermont (2.9%)
  6. Michigan (2.8%)
  7. Nevada (2.7%)
  8. Washington (2.6%)
  9. Arizona (2.5%)
  10. Colorado (2.5%)

Only two states on that list have not legalized recreational use of the drug, they are Rhode Island and Arizona.

Now, take a look at the cities with the highest positivity rates:

  1. Dallas, TX (5.27%)
  2. Reno, NV (3.54%)
  3. Worcester, MA (3.48%)
  4. Jackson, TN (3.23%)
  5. Flint, MI (3.23%)
  6. Springfield, MA (3.19%)
  7. Ann Arbor, MI (3.12%)
  8. Detroit, MI (3.11%)
  9. Tallahassee, FL (3.11%)
  10. Waco, TX (3.09%)

Five of those top cities are in states that have not legalized recreational marijuana.

The message for employers? Regardless of what your state law says about marijuana, impairment rates are going up, which could affect your workplace safety efforts. Be vigilant.

Tougher Teacher Screening in Nation’s Capital

The DC City Council passed a new law that will require teachers in all of the capital’s public and charter schools to go through a much more rigorous background check. The School Safety Act of 2018 requires job applicants to provide 20 years of employment history and mandates schools check a national database of teachers who have had their licenses revoked for misconduct. If a teacher is fired in DC for sexual misconduct, the law requires administrators to disclose that information to future employers requesting references. The tougher requirements were passed after a teacher who was accused of abusing a student in DC got a new teaching job in Florida thanks to a positive reference from the school that had just fired him!

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