Congress is demanding a full review of the Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC) card program. Lawmakers say that, even though we are now 17 years into the post 9/11 program, Homeland Security still hasn’t set rules and standards for reading the biometric cards that allow truckers to drive through our nation’s ports without an escort. Federal inspectors say the cards are also easily forged, and according to public records, they have even been issued to illegal immigrants. In addition to these security lapses, there are also complaints that the actual TWIC cards themselves are too fragile and can break when exposed to sunlight or kept in a pocket or wallet. The cost of the troubled program is expected to top $3 billion.
Thanks to social media, mistakes — intentional or not — can become national news in the blink of an eye. An IT recruiting company in Virginia learned that the hard way after an employee posted an online job listing that said the right applicant would be “Preferably Caucasian.” The blatantly illegal job description is a bit ironic for those who know this company. It is owned by Indian-Americans and more than 60% of their current employees are minorities. The listing has been removed, and the company quickly put out a statement that the person responsible had been fired. While the internet definitely makes recruiting easier, this shows how much damage one person can do in a very short time.
Employers in New York City will not be allowed to demand job applicants take a drug test that shows marijuana use. The City Council voted 40-to-4 to stop the practice even though, at this point, only medical marijuana use is legal there. The ban, if signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, will apply to both public and private employers and would go into effect one year after it’s signed into law. There are exemptions for safety-sensitive positions, and the bill will not apply to reasonable suspicion testing. In the meantime, city leaders are also working to expunge all misdemeanor marijuana convictions, while the state pushes for full legalization of the drug in this year’s legislative session. We’ll keep you posted.
Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.