Screening News Weekly Wrap: December 6th, 2019

Screening News Weekly Wrap: December 6th, 2019

By Tricia O'Connor

Negligent hiring laws have been around since 1908, but employers weren’t consistently held to these standards until about the 1970s. Still, modern screening continues to evolve as employers, HR professionals, and lawmakers try to make sense of an evolving hiring landscape.

This week’s EBI Screening News Weekly Wrap presented by Jennifer Gladstone reminds us why we should all be thankful background checks exist and gives kudos to the companies – like EBI – who continue to raise the screening industry standards.

New Push to Screen Subcontractors

The family of a woman allegedly viciously murdered by an appliance delivery man is pushing for more delivery driver and subcontractor screening restrictions.

In September, SNN shared the horrific story of Evelyn Udell’s murder. Jorge Dupre Lachazo is accused of beating the 75-year-old with a mallet, dousing her with chemicals, and setting her on fire while delivering an appliance as a subcontractor for Best Buy. Police say Lachazo admitted to using cocaine and vaping marijuana before the attack. The Udell family’s attorney says he recently confirmed Lachazo’s employer did not conduct a pre-employment drug screen.

Best Buy says it will hire an independent security firm to review existing screening, auditing, and safety procedures.

However, the Udell family wants tighter background check restrictions for delivery drivers and subcontractors. They say the crime could’ve been prevented through a background check. Court records show Lachazo had a suspended license and a misdemeanor theft charge.

In 2019 in the U.S., there have been at least four other instances of delivery driver crimes where a victim was assaulted or killed.

The family is taking the Evelyn Udell Delivery Bill to the Florida State Legislature.

The bill has two components:

  • Big box stores need to notify customers when a delivery service has been subcontracted out
  • Drivers going into people’s homes must undergo mandatory fingerprint background checks

The bill will not affect front door delivery services like UPS, FedEx, or food delivery.

Interestingly, there is no mention of requiring drug testing as part of that pre-employment screening bill.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Lachazo. No trial date has been set yet.

EBI supports best-practices for hiring temporary or contract workers. EBI’s Extended Workforce Screening is a centralized method of risk management that helps you have confidence your people and your customers are safe.

ICYMI: EBI is here to help protect your family. What to ask before hiring a service worker.

Curb Your Cannabis Use

The National Safety Council says workers employed in so-called ‘safety sensitive’ positions should not be allowed to consume cannabis, even if cannabis consumption is allowed by their state. The NSC policy position provides a firm stance for employers to prioritize safety as the landscape of marijuana laws continues to evolve. The NSC acknowledges having THC in your system does not necessarily mean you are impaired, but also says research clearly shows the drug affects certain processing skills.

“Research clearly shows that cannabis impacts a person’s psychomotor skills and cognitive ability,” said Lorraine M. Martin, president and CEO of NSC.

What is Safety Sensitive?

A safety sensitive job usually involves tasks that could affect your own safety, or the safety of others around you. Construction, law enforcement, transportation (air, land, and sea), manufacturing, teaching, and even agriculture, food, and cooking, fall into this category. As we’ve reported before, some industries like trucking want the federal government more involved in creating a uniform impairment law because they say that kind of law will better protect employer’s rights to provide a drug-free workplace.

What Research Shows

The latest proof comes from a report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which found employees who tested positive for cannabis:

  • Had 55% more on-the-job accidents
  • Had 85% more injuries
  • Were absent 75% more often than those testing negative for the drug

What Employers Say

Employers are struggling with enforcement. A February 2019 research report for the National Safety Council that surveyed 500 employers found:

  • 81% are concerned about cannabis having a negative impact on their employees
  • 71% say their company has policies covering employees using illegal cannabis, but only 54% of respondents have policies addressing employees using legal or prescribed cannabis
  • 24% say they’d fire an employee for misusing legal cannabis, while 7% would relocate that employee

EBI is committed to helping you build a safe and compliant drug-free workplace. As rules and regulations continue to evolve, EBI will be ready to assist you.

Have a cannabis question? Send your background screening question to “Ask an Expert.” We might feature it in an upcoming segment!


The Giving Season

EBI has many things to be thankful for during this holly jolly holiday season. We recently celebrated our 25th anniversary! We are grateful to our clients, staff, and friends who have contributed to our success. YOU are the reason we can deliver a WOW Experience year after year and continue as a leading enterprise background screening firm.

In fact, HRO Today’s 2019 Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Ratings list recently recognized EBI as a top employment screening provider an unprecedented 12 times. This sets a record in the background check industry and firmly establishes EBI as the most awarded Consumer Reporting Agency in the HRO Today’s Baker’s Dozen history!

“EBI is the first and only screening firm to make the HRO Today’s Baker’s Dozen list 12 times. This is a wonderful accomplishment and is a credit to our incredible team of employees who work day in and day out to deliver a WOW Experience to our clients. It is our mission to give clients the absolute best in quality, customer care, compliance, and technology each day and I can proudly say we do this.” – EBI CEO Rick Kurland

Happy University Dedication

Every EBI team member has brought their own unique perspectives and “special sauce” to make EBI a melting pot of success. During our anniversary week celebrations we dedicated our internal learning university to two EBI team members who sadly lost their battles with cancer; Heather G. in 2011 and Kathy B. in 2019. Rick and his wife, Marti, welcomed the women’s families to our headquarters and dedicated “Happy University” to them. We will never forget their smiles and spirits.

Year of Children’s Charity

EBI also announced a new philanthropic endeavor, the Just One World Foundation. The foundation, established by Rick and Marti, aims to raise money for children in need, while continuing in spirit to carry on the efforts of Lenny “Route 29 Batman” Robinson, who was tragically killed on Interstate 70 in Maryland in 2015. Lenny “Batman” Robinson and his brother, Scott, provided Rick the seed investment he needed to start EBI. In its inaugural year, Just One World will focus on raising funds and awareness for three charities connected to children’s health: Hope for Henry, LifeBridge Health’s Herman & Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. All three organizations are passionately dedicated to helping children battle illness of all kinds, just like Lenny did.

We look back on 2019 fondly and are excited for what’s to come in 2020!

About the Author

Tricia O'Connor

Tricia O'Connor

Writer. Digital marketer. Storyteller. An award-winning writer and editor, Tricia O'Connor is the Marketing Content Manager at EBI. Tricia worked as a broadcast and print journalist for nearly two decades writing and producing programming for high-profile networks like ESPN Radio, History Channel, and Hallmark Channel, as well as contributing editorial work to publications nationwide. Tricia joined the EBI marketing team in 2019 and is responsible for content strategy, development, and engagement. Tricia earned a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and is a proud undergraduate alumna of Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

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