Immigration reform and marijuana legalization are hot topics in this year’s election cycle. These evolving laws continue to impact employers and employees in both private and public sectors.
This week’s EBI Screening News Weekly Wrap presented by Jennifer Gladstone has must-know hiring information for HR professionals. Plus, an important update on a global child sex abuse scandal.
After weeks of working on a bill that initially compelled all employers to use E-Verify to ensure all new hires are legally allowed to work in the country, the Florida state legislature is now left with a version similar to what the federal government already requires.
The Honor System
Governor Ron DeSantis wanted the new law to require every single employer in the state to run new hires through the federal E-Verify system to confirm their employment eligibility.
After a lot of push-back from the agriculture, tourism, and construction industries, the state Senate instead passed a version requiring employers to have their federal Form I-9s completed and filed and make their own decision on electronic confirmation.
Basically, the new law would tell employers to follow the law – and use E-Verify if you want to – which is exactly what current federal law says.
Private Business Push
E-Verify is a federal program that takes the information from the Form I-9 and compares it to data held by the Social Security Administration and/or Homeland Security to confirm the new hire really is the person they are claiming to be. It is an internet-based system that is voluntary for most employers.
The governor also wanted to toughen the state’s authority to audit private businesses that decide not to use E-Verify. The speaker of the house said that sounded invasive. E-Verify advocates say the audits are a concrete way to ensure employers follow federal law.
The bill now moves to the House. Count on Screening News Network to update you on E-Verify throughout this election cycle.
Pennsylvania and Arizona both recently passed laws requiring construction companies to use E-Verify to check the employment eligibility of every new hire. Don’t miss stories like these again! Subscribe to the Screening News Network.
Drugged driving has long been an issue, even before some states began legalizing recreational and medicinal marijuana. But researchers are now finding chronic weed consumption may have longer lasting effects behind the wheel – even when users are no longer high.
A study recently published in the journal “Drug and Alcohol Dependence” examined the driving behaviors of regular, heavy pot smokers who began using before age 16. They found these drivers continued dangerous behaviors like running red lights, crossing the center line, and speeding even after drivers were no longer high.
The subjects had not used any marijuana in 12 hours before the testing, and urine tests showed no sign of THC in their systems. Still, drivers performed terribly on the driving tests, making some dangerous mistakes.
Half-Baked Behind the Wheel
Approximately 124 million Americans aged 12 or older have tried weed at least once, with almost 28 million reporting use within the last month, according to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
The results from these studies provide more insight into the need for pre-employment drug testing and continuous screening during the course of employment. Urine testing can tell you if a candidate used an illicit drug within the last few days. If they are chronic marijuana users, it can show up in urine testing for up to 30 days. Don’t let your employees put themselves, other people, and your company’s reputation at risk.
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A few weeks ago, Screening News Network told you about lists of Catholic priests who are “credibly accused” of child sex abuse circulating through hiring circles.
As many as 5,000 names are on those lists, and about 20 states are checking them before hiring current or former clergymen.
Several independent news outlets now report at least 51 American priests from those lists were allowed to leave the country and continue working for the Catholic Church. The majority crossed the southern border to work in Mexico. Others have gone as far away as Nigeria, Ireland, and the Philippines.
“Innocent Until Proven Guilty”
At least one former priest is fighting the list. John Onderko is no longer allowed to identify as a priest and was barred from the Church after he was accused of abuse following a conference he attended. Onderko says there were reports of abuse happening at that conference, but he maintains his innocence and says the Diocese never gave him a fair hearing. He has since filed a civil suit against the Diocese and is urging others who were wrongly accused to speak out.
Should You Use the List?
There are concerns about how employers are choosing to use this information. If a Consumer Reporting Agency like EBI was performing the search for an employer, most of the information found in these lists would not be allowed to be reported under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. While an employer directly using one of these lists would not be subject to the FCRA, denying employment based solely on this list could be interpreted as punishing someone for being accused of a crime.
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.