One state says observed urine drug tests are not an invasion of privacy, Macy’s pays up for allegedly violating the FCRA, and the NY Governor demands plans for the next pandemic right now. It’s all coming up in today’s EBI Screening News Weekly Wrap.
State Supreme Court Says Observed Collection Not Invasion of Privacy
The Ohio Supreme Court says observed urine collection during drug testing does not constitute an invasion of privacy. In 2016, four employees of Sterilite claimed the company suddenly started requiring everyone to do drug testing with a technician watching. The employees filed a lawsuit accusing their employer of invading their privacy. It bounced around the courts for several years.
The first court dismissed the case because the employees signed a consent form and went into the restroom with the tester without raising any complaints. The appellate court ruled that two of the four employees did have a case because they were fired when they could not produce a sample to be tested.
The state’s Supreme Court was split but came down on the side of the company. The majority said the employees could have refused to submit to being observed. The minority opinion said the employees felt their jobs depended on submitting to the test. There is no word on whether they could have kept their jobs if they had refused.
Observed collection is not an unusual approach considering the lengths people go to when trying to cheat the test.
Plaintiffs in the case say they will continue to fight, and there is now a movement by Ohio lawmakers to possibly create legislation to encourage other methods the prevent cheating yet preserve employees’ dignity.
Macy’s Settles Background Check Suit
Macy’s has been embroiled in a class action lawsuit since last summer with plaintiffs alleging the iconic retailer’s background check process discriminates against Black and Latino candidates.
The named plaintiff began a job in the store’s credit and customer service department but was fired a month later after her background check came back showing a 10-year-old misdemeanor for driving without insurance. She reportedly never received a copy of the report and was turned away when she tried to speak with her supervisor about it.
In addition to disparate impact, the suit claimed Macy’s violated the Fair Credit Reporting ACT (FCRA) for failing to follow required adverse action procedures.
Macy’s will now pay $1.8 million to settle the suit. The company has also promised to hire a consultant to help revise its background check policies.
New Pandemic Plan Law
While we all hope we will never experience another crisis like COVID-19, the governor of New York demands there be a plan in place, just in case.
Over the Labor Day holiday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that requires all state and local government agencies, as well as all schools, to have a plan for how they will handle a future pandemic. The plans must list which positions are essential as well as ways to secure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for them. Plans should also include an explanation on how they will cover work shifts and handle exposures.
The state is moving quickly on this. Agencies have 150 days to send their plans to the unions and the state labor management committee. Everything must be finalized by April 1, 2021.