Screening News Update: FBI Strengthens Gun Checks | New Workers’ Comp Decision | Uber Ups Screening | RI Taxes Screening
- FBI Adding Info Sharing Tool to Gun Searches
- Now Workers Comp DOES Have to Pay for Medical Marijuana – At Least in One State
- Uber Adopts Continuous Driver Monitoring
- Sales Tax on Searches
FBI Adding Info Sharing Tool to Gun Searches
Relying on a single criminal records database for any kind of background check is often a route to disaster. As it currently stands, the FBI has only three days to prove that a buyer should be banned from buying a firearm. If they can’t find a concrete reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun in those three days, the buyer can make the purchase on the fourth. That is how Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof was able to buy his murder weapon. During Roof’s background check the FBI found cause for concern – he had previously admitted to drug possession. But because the local police department didn’t respond quickly enough with confirmation, the waiting period expired and he made the purchase. Only parts of Roof’s criminal history showed up in the traditional National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database. To help remedy this, the FBI is adding a new tool called the National Data Exchange, or N-DEx. The N-DEx is an online tool for sharing, searching, linking and analyzing information across jurisdictions. An internal review showed that this search would have found Roof’s violation in a timely manner and stopped him from buying the gun. The N-DEx has 400-million records and is expected to be up and running as a regular part of the firearm background check in about two years.
Now Workers Comp DOES Have to Pay for Medical Marijuana – At Least in One State
Last week we told you about a Maine Supreme Court ruling that said workers’ comp insurance does not need to pay for medical marijuana. Lawyers in New Jersey recently cited that ruling hoping to get the same decision from a workers’ compensation judge, but they lost. In the case of McNeary v. Township of Freehold, Steven McNeary was hurt on the job three times over six years. After the last injury, he had to have the vertebrae in his neck fused. Opioids didn’t help his pain. His doctors signed off on medical marijuana, but the insurance company wouldn’t cover it because attorneys felt it would be a mistake to allow a township to violate federal law. Judge Lionel Simon said he understood the concern but said the federal law doesn’t apply in this case. He says the federal law is meant to curtail the distribution of illegal substances in order to reduce crime, and since he says there is nothing criminal in this situation, he ordered the workers’ compensation company to pay for the treatment. There is no word yet if the insurer will appeal.
Uber Adopts Continuous Driver Monitoring
Uber has decided to adopt annual re-screening of their drivers to make sure their records stay clean. The ride-sharing company has long done pre-employment background searches which include a look at motor vehicles reports. But now, drivers will be re-screened every year to make sure any new criminal or moving violations are not swept under the rug. The new checks are expected to get started later this summer. The move was prompted by a CNN investigation that found more than 100 Uber drivers have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing passengers.
Sales Tax on Searches
Rhode Island’s new budget brings a big change for background screening companies. The 2018 Appropriations and Budget legislation requires a 7% tax be applied to all background screening done in the state. Consumer Reporting Agencies will also have to pay an annual $10 to get a sales tax permit fee. The bill applies to a large list of industries doing business in Rhode Island, including armored car services, bodyguards, security guards and even guard dogs. This is the second state to tax background screening. Maryland already charges a 6% Sales and Use Tax on searches.