COVID-19 Updates: Drug Screening, Turnaround Times, & Verifications

COVID-19 Updates: Drug Screening, Turnaround Times, & Verifications

As clinics, courts, employers, and schools continue to adapt to the impacts of COVID-19, the restrictions in place similarly continue to create challenges in drug screening, turnaround times, and verifications.

  1. Drug Screening
    1. Some collection sites have implemented new policies and procedures for specific tests. For example, Concentra now requires a Respirator Questionnaire with a physician prior to a Respirator Fit Test, which will incur an additional fee. Additionally, some collection sites no longer conduct BAT or PFT tests, limiting clinic options for applicants.
    2. Hours of operation are fluid based on staff availability and sanitizing schedules. Donor passports instruct applicants to call prior to confirm hours and determine if appointments are necessary.
    3. More collection sites now require appointments for drug testing.
    4. Some collection sites (non-Quest/Labcorp sites) are also starting to test for COVID-19.
  2. Court Delays Affecting Turnaround Times
    1. Court closures remain in some jurisdictions with increased COVID-19 cases. Where possible, and with client permission, Hire Image will perform a statewide search, which in many cases, do not have delays.
    2. Some courts have restricted access to records and/or time restrictions to obtain records.
  3. Employer and Education Verifications
    1. Many employers and educational institutions have staff working remotely, and do not have full access to information or are not able to check voicemail as regularly, affecting turnaround times for verifications.
    2. Some employers have closed permanently, and in those instances, no employment verifications are available. Hire Image offers alternatives in these scenarios. Please call our office at 888-433-0090 and ask for the client services department to learn more.

Click here for previous COVID-19 updates.

Hire Image to Present FREE Webinar – What COVID-19 and New Marijuana Laws Mean for Drug Testing in 2021

The challenges and developments of 2020 have serious implications for 2021. How we write policies, how we hire applicants and manage employees, and how we conduct drug testing are all impacted. What should you do when your applicants refuse to go for drug testing because of COVID-19 testing at the same facility? Which states have been impacted by new marijuana legislation in the 2020 election? What does all of this mean for your Drug Free Workplace policies? Should you update your drug testing protocols?

Join Christine Cunneen, Hire Image CEO, and Bill Judge from the Drug Screening Compliance Institute for our FREE Webinar on February 3rd to find out the answers to these and many other questions. Get the information you need to effectively navigate drug testing in 2021.

This webinar is approved for SHRM PDC credit.

This webinar is approved for HCRI credit.

Click Here to Register

Hire Image Holiday Hours

Wishing everyone a joy filled holiday season!

As a reminder, Hire Image will be closed Thursday, December 24th and Friday, December 25th for the Christmas holiday, and Friday, January 1st for New Year’s Day. We will resume normal business hours on Monday, December 28th and Monday, January 4th, respectively.  Please keep in mind that the courts will also be closed for the holidays, which will delay some reports.

Please remember that although our staff will be out, our online system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Happy Holidays!

Reminder to Colorado Employers: Salary History Ban Goes into Effect January 1, 2021

In May of 2019, Hire Image reported that effective January 1, 2021, Colorado employers are prohibited from (1) seeking the wage history of a prospective employee; (2) relying on the wage history of a prospective employee to determine a wage rate; or (3) discriminating or retaliating against a prospective employee for failing to disclose wage history.

Click Here for more information

For more information about the growing trend of salary history bans, please visit our Resource Library.

EEOC’s Final Rule for Issuing Guidance for Employers

Good news for employers. While EEOC guidance is often useful for employers, the EEOC itself has been challenged for improperly legislating through guidance, without public comment, as well as treating their guidance as binding.

In an effort to improve public awareness and understanding of the legal effects of agency positions, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued a final rule establishing procedural regulations for the issuance of guidance. The rule clarifies several issues, including:

  • Making guidance documents readily available to the public;
  • Ensuring guidance is treated as non-binding and not overstepping of legal authority;
  • Requiring a notice and public comment period for significant guidance; and
  • Establishing a public petition process for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of guidance

Notably, with regard to not overstepping legal authority, the rule notes that guidance must include, “A clear and prominent statement of the following: ‘The contents of this document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or Commission policies.’”

With this rule, which became effective December 2, 2020, the EEOC intends to improve guidance issuance and knowledge, critical components of its outreach efforts.

The EEOC has issued and updated guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic to balance workplace safety and compliance with the American with Disabilities Act. In addition, they had issued guidance on the use of criminal records in employment decisions under Title VII. We had previously written about the EEOC searching for cases to support their policies, and often failing to do so. Employers won in cases such as Freeman vs. EEOC and EEOC vs. Kaplan. Yet, despite losing several high-profile cases, the EEOC continued aggressive enforcement actions. In the Freeman case, the court called the EEOC’s position an “egregious example of scientific dishonesty.”

Now, with the current procedural guidance, the EEOC will have some new, welcomed guidelines to follow itself.

At Hire Image, we work with employers to understand the EEOC’s guidance and impacts as it relates to occupational health testing and background checks. Please contact us if you have any questions about the laws and rules governing background checks and drug screening.

 

COVID-19 Updates: Drug Screening, Turnaround Times, & Verifications