Top Stories from 2019 in the World of Background Screening

,[Phone rings]

Ann: “Cutting Edge, this is Ann.”

Customer: “Okay, I’ve reviewed all my forms and policies. AGAIN.”

Ann (swills down piping hot coffee): “That didn’t take long!”

Customer (chomps down on donut): “So that’s all hunky-dory, but is there anything new I need to know?”

Ann (puts cup down on coaster “Not my circus, not my monkeys”): “There’s always something new in background checks. And I see a theme developing in the news. Let me run down a handful of top stories from 2019:”

Top Background Screening Stories in 2019

  1. Major Airline to Pay $2.3 Million to settle background check lawsuit for alleged FCRA violations. In January 2019 a major US airline agree to pay $2.3 million to settle a class action lawsuit that claimed the airline allegedly failed to provide job applicants with a “standalone” background check disclosure in violation of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Acts (FCRA) and related California state laws.
  2. New York City Ban on Marijuana Drug Testing by Employers Takes Effect in May 2020. In April 2019 the New York City Council passed a proposed bill that prohibited New York City employers from requiring job applicants to submit to drug testing for the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) the active ingredient in marijuana as a condition of employment.
  3. Nevada becomes First State of Prohibit Denial of Employment Due to Positive Marijuana Drug Tests. In June of 2019 Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed a bill that will prohibit the denial of employment because of the presence of marijuana in a pre-employment drug test taken by a prospective employee, except under certain specific circumstances. It took effect January 1, 2020.
  4. Convenience Store Chain agrees to pay Nearly $2 Million to Settle Class Action Lawsuit for Alleged FCRA Violations. In June 2019 a convenience store chain agreed to pay nearly $2 million to settle a class action lawsuit that claimed the company allegedly violated the FCRA by failing to provide a “standalone” notice of background checks to approximately 60,000 job applicants.
  5. U-Haul Will No Longer Hire Smokers in 21 States. Not from 2019, but effective February 1, 2020. The nicotine-free policy will be enacted in states that lawfully allows the decline of nicotine users (Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington). Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have “smoker protection “laws” that prevent employers from discriminating against employees for using tobacco products. The new policy will apply to new employees, current employees will be unaffected by the policy.

There was definitely more news in background screening (ask me about the Spokeo case if you can’t get enough), but I thought it was interesting that what came to the top was marijuana laws and how they pertain to pre-employment screening, and my favorite rant: Are your forms compliant because if they aren’t it could be a multi-million dollar headache and headline.

If you have any questions about these stories (or anything about background checks in general) let us know at (714) 587-9166. For what else is news follow our blog!