- Could Technology Have Prevented Illinois Workplace Shooting?
- New York to Ban Employer Drug Testing?
- Nevada Also Fighting Drug Testing
Could Technology Have Prevented Illinois Workplace Shooting?
Last week we told you that Uber is going to start continuous monitoring on their employees, so they know if anyone is involved in a crime after passing their pre-employment background check. Just a few days later, we learned that such continuous monitoring might have helped save several innocent lives. On February 15th, Gary Martin was fired from his job at Henry Pratt, Co. in Aurora, Illinois. A few minutes later he pulled out a pistol and started shooting. He killed 5 people and injured 6 more before being killed by police. Even though Martin was convicted of aggravated assault in 1995, the company said he ‘passed’ a background check when he was hired 15 years ago. The arrest happened in Mississippi, but the job was in Illinois, so there are questions about the scope of the employer’s screening. But, while the company acknowledges Martin had faced discipline several times before getting fired, they didn’t seem to know that he had been arrested at least 5 more times – almost all during his tenure at the company. Between this, and the fact that the state system allowed him to get his hands on a gun, there were several safety nets – including continuous monitoring -- that could have been very helpful in this case.
New York to Ban Employer Drug Testing?
New York City Councilman Jumaane D. Williams wants to make it illegal for employers to test job applicants for marijuana use. He introduced a bill to ban pre-employment drug tests from including THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. There would be exceptions for safety sensitive jobs and government contractors, but otherwise it would apply to anyone hiring in the city limits. It’s important to note that while medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 2014, recreational use of the drug is not. The governor and the mayor have both backed legislation that would make it legal, but there is no telling when that could happen. Councilman Williams has a history of supporting legalized marijuana and has also fought to expunge marijuana-related offenses. Other members of the council are backing up the proposal. Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo, a co-sponsor of the bill, calls employer drug testing a violation of personal privacy.
RELATED: Weed Out Candidates: How to Reduce Legal Risk in Marijuana States [On Demand Webinar]
Nevada Also Fighting Drug Testing
Nevada is also taking aim at pre-employment drug testing. The difference here is that both medical and recreational use of the drug are legal in that state. Members of the state legislature want to make sure job applicants don’t lose employment opportunities because they are engaging in a “legal” activity. The concern is that you don’t have to be impaired while on the job to test positive for the drug.