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Should a Pre-Employment Background Check Include Drug Testing?

When companies are looking for candidates to hire for open positions, they routinely conduct background checks. Many employers also conduct pre-employment drug testing. In some cases, drug testing is required by law, but in many cases it is up to the discretion of the employer.

Is Pre-Employment Drug Testing Required?

Most companies across the United States are not legally obligated to drug test applicants for employment. Some state and local governments prohibit or place limitations on pre-employment drug testing.

In some cases, the decision on whether or not to test job applicants for drug use depends on whether or not a union is involved. A non-union employer may test applicants for drug use, but in unionized employment a drug testing program must be negotiated between the company and the union.

In some cases, pre-employment drug testing is required by law. All federal, state, and local civil service jobs require drug testing before an applicant is accepted for a position. Civil service jobs include public school workers, road construction and maintenance workers, law enforcement personnel, and people who work in social services. The Department of Transportation is also required to test all job applicants, and applicants for certain positions may be excluded if they are using certain drugs, even if they have a prescription.

In other industries, pre-employment drug testing is not required, but it is usually done for safety reasons. People who work in the healthcare field and who operate motor vehicles and heavy machinery are routinely drug tested.

Why Many Employers Conduct Drug Testing, Even If It Is Not Required

Even though drug testing is not required in many industries, a majority of employers still do it. They recognize the benefits of having a drug-free workplace and realize that employees who use drugs are more likely to be involved in accidents, to experience or cause injuries, and to have excessive rates of absenteeism and poor on-the-job performance.

DataCheck Can Help with Background Checks and Drug Testing

If your company plans to hire one or more new employees, you have to decide whether or not to test applicants for the use of drugs. Even if it is not required by law, testing job applicants is still a wise decision that can help you have a safe and productive workforce. DataCheck can help with pre-employment background checks, including drug testing. Contact us today to learn more.

Should a Background Check Include a Review of Worker’s Compensation Records?

Employers want to create a safe workplace for their employees. That means they need to follow federal and state laws and regulations related to safety. Companies also want to hire workers who have a history of performing jobs safely. An employee who has been involved in a series of accidents on the job may pose a risk to himself or herself and others.

Why Should Employers Consider Past Worker’s Compensation Claims?

An employee who is injured on the job may file a worker’s compensation claim. Workers have a right to compensation for a legitimate injury and may need to take time off to recover after an accident. However, a worker’s compensation claim and missed time cost money for the company. An employer therefore wants to avoid hiring someone who has a history of several accidents on the job to avoid future accidents and claims. A company might also be concerned that a job applicant who has filed numerous claims in the past might have submitted fraudulent claims.

Laws Related to Worker’s Compensation

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act and state laws protect the rights of employees who have filed legitimate worker’s compensation claims. It is illegal to discriminate against an employee solely for exercising his or her right to file a valid claim for a real injury. The ADA also prohibits discrimination against a worker with a disability who is able to perform a job with a reasonable accommodation.

Talk to a Lawyer about Worker’s Compensation Claims

An employer should consult a lawyer before obtaining worker’s compensation records and using that information in hiring decisions. An attorney can help the company make sure it is complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act and state laws related to discrimination. The ADA only allows a company to ask about a job applicant’s medical condition or history of filing worker’s compensation claims after a conditional job offer has been made.

Contact DataCheck for Help with Background Checks

DataCheck can help your business conduct pre-employment background checks so you can hire the most qualified employees. We can conduct a check of worker’s compensation records in accordance with state law. While it is illegal to discriminate against someone who has filed a valid claim, a history of repeated worker’s compensation claims may indicate that an employee is unable to do a job with a reasonable accommodation. Contact DataCheck to learn more about background checks and worker’s compensation claims.

How to Avoid Being Sued over Background Checks

If your company needs to hire one or more new employees, you probably want to conduct background checks to make sure you are hiring people who are honest about their qualifications and do not have lengthy criminal records. When obtaining a background check through a consumer reporting agency, you must follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This federal law grants job applicants and current employees certain rights and sets out requirements that employers need to follow. Your state law may spell out other rules and requirements.

Why You Need to Be Careful to Follow the Law

If you fail to follow the FCRA, your company can be sued by a candidate who was denied a job. You can also be sued for violations of state laws. In many cases, the problems are systemic and companies find themselves subject to class action lawsuits. Those lawsuits can cost hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, depending on the extent of the problem and the number of plaintiffs.

Laws on Consent and Disclosure

One of the most common reasons for a FCRA lawsuit is a violation of the rules regarding consent and disclosure. You must always obtain a job applicant’s written consent before you conduct a background check. The authorization and disclosure forms must be in a separate document. That information cannot be a part of the application or another form. The consent and disclosure form should specify what types of information will be collected, the name of the consumer reporting agency that will conduct the background check, and how the company can be contacted. It cannot include any other information that is not directly relevant to the background check.

Adverse Action Laws

If you are thinking about rejecting an applicant because of information found in the background check, you must send the candidate a pre-adverse action notice along with a complete copy of the report and a summary of the applicant’s rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Then you must send an adverse action notice after you have made a final decision. This should include information on how the applicant can dispute the information if he or she believes it is inaccurate.

Follow Your State’s Background Check Laws

State laws on background checks vary. Some state laws give job applicants additional protections and set out additional responsibilities for employers. Make sure you are complying with the laws in your state to avoid becoming the defendant in a lawsuit.

How to Conduct Background Checks

A background check can help you find the most qualified employee, but it needs to be done correctly. Take the time to learn about the applicable federal and state laws and job applicants’ rights so you can comply and avoid being sued for mistakes that could have easily been avoided.

DataCheck has helped businesses of all kinds conduct pre-employment background checks. We can help you comply with relevant laws. Contact DataCheck today to learn more about our background check services.

A Background Check Can Help You Uncover Lies on a Job Applicant’s Resume

In a competitive employment market, job seekers are looking for ways to stand out and secure a new position. Some pursue degrees and challenge themselves in their current jobs to gain experience. Unfortunately, some job candidates decide to lie on their resumes to get a job. This is why it is essential to conduct a background check on a candidate before extending an offer of employment.

Why You Should Verify a Job Candidate’s Education

Job candidates may lie about several types of information on their resumes. Some people claim to have received a degree when they actually only attended college for a year or two. Others claim to have degrees from universities they never attended at all, or even from universities that do not exist.

Hiring a candidate who does not have the right education for the job can be detrimental to your business. A candidate without the right training will be ineffective on the job. In a field such as healthcare, an unqualified employee can be dangerous. You should conduct a background check to verify any degrees and certifications that a person claims to have on his or her resume.

Why You Should Verify Prior Employment

Some job candidates lie about their previous employment. Some give themselves job titles and responsibilities they never held in order to make themselves seem more qualified. Others lie about their dates of employment to try to cover up gaps in their employment, rather than explaining a gap in a cover letter or interview.

A candidate who lies about his or her previous employment may be unqualified for a position that requires specific skills and experience. For example, a person who claims to have management experience but was actually an entry-level employee will be poorly suited for a job that requires supervising dozens of employees. Conducting a background check can help you verify a candidate’s previous employers, job titles, and responsibilities.

Contact DataCheck for Help with Pre-Employment Background Checks

If you run a business, you rely on your employees to help your company succeed. You need to know that you are hiring people who are well qualified and capable of doing the jobs they are assigned. The unfortunate truth is that many job applicants lie on their resumes, so you need to be careful. Before you offer someone a job, conduct a background check to verify the person’s education and previous employment. DataCheck can help you conduct pre-employment background checks. Contact us today to learn more.

Why You Should Conduct a Background Check before Hiring a Caregiver for an Elderly Family Member

As the American population gets older and more and more people enter retirement, families are concerned about caring for their loved ones. Many senior citizens want to continue living in their homes instead of moving to an assisted living facility or a nursing home. If family members are unable to provide care as often as it is needed, they may hire in-home help to care for their aging parents.

Why You Should Conduct a Background Check

Senior citizens are especially vulnerable to abuse and neglect, and they may be unable to effectively communicate about what is going on when family members are not around. Seniors can be victims of physical or sexual abuse, financial abuse or manipulation, or verbal abuse or threats. They may also be neglected by the people who are supposed to care for them.

If you are thinking about hiring a caregiver for your elderly parent and you would rather hire someone privately than go through an agency, you should conduct a background check before you extend an offer of employment. A background check on a prospective in-home caregiver should include several components.

What Should Be Included in a Background Check?

A thorough background check should include a review of criminal record databases in all states and counties where the applicant has lived to look for any history of violence, theft, or other criminal activity. It should include a verification of education, including any certifications listed on a resume, as well as previous employment. References should be verified to make sure the person actually did the work listed on a resume and to find out the circumstances under which the applicant’s employment ended.

If the caregiver will be driving your family member, the background check should include a check of the applicant’s driving records. You should also check a job applicant’s credit because someone with financial problems may be more likely to steal from an elderly person in his or her care. Using illegal drugs could put your family member at risk, so a background check should include drug testing.

DataCheck Can Help You Conduct a Background Check

DataCheck can help you conduct a pre-employment background check on someone you are thinking of hiring to care for your elderly parent. This can give you peace of mind knowing that your loved one is in the care of someone who is responsible and reliable and will not put your family member in harm’s way. If you would like to conduct a background check on a potential caregiver for your parent, contact DataCheck today.

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