Screening News Weekly Wrap: January 24th, 2020

Screening News Weekly Wrap: January 24th, 2020

By Tricia O'Connor

The 2020 ‘candidate experience’ takes center stage in the EBI Screening News Weekly Wrap presented by Jennifer Gladstone. Despite evolutions in background checks for the transportation industry, and an influx of hiring tools on social media sites, these modern technologies might not be ready for showtime just yet.

And in the strange-but-true category, disappointed NFL fans call on cannabis to treat the pain of defeat.

Details after the jump.

Rough Start

The roll out of the long-planned Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse was rougher than an unpaved country road! After years of planning and preparation, the entire site crashed on its first day.

A surge of new users and registrants rushed to the site on January 6, eager to jump online and complete the process. But the volume was just too much for the fledgling system. One representative who works with owner-operators of small fleets described the crash as “chaos.”

Keeping Our Roads Safe

The Clearinghouse is a database of information on Commercial Driver’s License holders’ drug and alcohol violations. The Clearinghouse Regulation requires all FMCSA-regulated employers to conduct pre-employment background checks using the current process, as well as query the Clearinghouse. Carriers, state licensing agencies, and law enforcement officers are among those who use the Clearinghouse to check a CDL holder’s violations.

“The FMCSA Clearinghouse provides employers an additional resource to pull from to help reduce safety risks or even regulatory non-compliance,” says Bob Capwell, Chief Knowledge Officer at EBI. “This is certainly a step in the right direction to help protect consumers using our vast U.S. roadways.”

Most of the delays and errors messages people had experienced during the launch were diminished by day three.

Good Faith to Grow

As frustrating as the site’s debut was, it could have been even worse if a new rule had not given state agencies another three years to completely comply with the Clearinghouse. They may do it voluntarily for now, but it’s mandatory starting January 6th, 2023. In the meantime, the FMCSA asks anyone trying to register or query the system to keep clear documentation to show you made a good-faith effort to use the Clearinghouse despite the growing pains.

ICYMI: DOT drug testing is one of our top five trends for 2020. Click here to see what else made the list!

Social Caution

We’ve cautioned you before about using social media to screen job applicants. But we haven’t spent a lot of time exploring the pitfalls of using social media to attract job applicants. New insight into Facebook’s job application tool is getting a lot of attention from the EEOC, though, so it’s time for all of us to pay closer attention.

Facebook’s job application tool allows employers to target job postings based on several criteria, including age and gender. If that sounds like a discriminatory practice to you, you’re not alone. The Communications Workers of America filed a lawsuit in California alleging age discrimination. The group later filed nearly 70 similar charges with the EEOC.

Larry White“The legal landscape of the human capital management industry is complex, but for good reason. We all have an important responsibility to our employers, our constituents, our clients, and our candidates to adhere to the law and protect everyone’s associated rights. As they say, with great data comes great responsibility. It is imperative to understand these standards and to abide by them,

– Larry White, Chief Operating Officer and President at EBI

Risky Business

The charges don’t indicate legal action yet, but they do show the EEOC finds merit that an employer possibly violated either the Age Discrimination in Employment Act or Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Federal law requires workers and job seekers file a discrimination complaint with the EEOC before they can sue in federal court.

Last summer, the EEOC made a landmark judgment against seven companies for illegally discriminating against women and older workers. The businesses listed jobs on Facebook and targeted them to young men. Women and people aged 55 and over could not see them.

Facebook has taken steps to correct course. In September, the social giant agreed to make changes to job, housing, and credit ads. But a company representative argues these kinds of ads are not discriminatory if the employer is also posting job ads in other venues or media outlets that reach a wider audience.

That’s a risky defense, though. Legal experts warn against duplicating job ads this way as it could draw the attention of the EEOC.

Have a question about social media screening? EBI’s “Ask an Expert” can help! Submit your question and we may feature it in an upcoming segment.


Agony of Defeat

Losing is a familiar foe to fans of the NFL’s Ohio franchises. But believe it or not, Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns fans want to treat that misery with medical marijuana.

Long-suffering fans are looking to cannabis to numb the agony of defeat. They are petitioning the State Medical Board to get “Bengals Fan” and “Browns Fan” certified as conditions that can be treated with pot!

You can expect a flag on this play early in the game, though. The board requires relevant medical information to support the claim. Last year the board got more than 100 petitions to add conditions to the medical marijuana list. They included true medical disorders like anxiety, autism spectrum disorder, depression, and insomnia. The board rejected all of them.

Pot Penalty

This fan-focused petition does spiral into a conversation about the evolution of marijuana use and testing in professional sports. As we recently reported in the Screening News Network, the NHL and MLB have both taken steps to adopt a treatment-based approach for athletes who test positive for marijuana.

This is being driven, in part, by changing marijuana laws at the state level. An ESPN study shows roughly 82% of NFL, NHL, MLB, and NBA teams play in states or provinces where either recreational or medicinal marijuana use is legal. And, Nevada – the latest state to get an NFL team when it welcomes the Raiders next season – recently banned most pre-employment marijuana screening. Nevada Assembly Bill 132 essentially states job seekers who smoke weed recreationally or for medical reasons can’t be denied a job for using a legal substance on their own time.

The federal government, however, still treats weed as a controlled substance. But professional sports insiders expect the NFL and NBA to eventually follow pro hockey and baseball.

Stuck on the Sideline

As for Bengals and Browns fans, though, don’t expect to toke up when your team misses the playoffs again. Unless the petitioners can find a medical expert who specializes in studying the “condition,” the medical marijuana petition will most likely remain on the sideline.

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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