July 2018

Message from the Editor:

Welcome to another edition of ‘Inside Background Screening’ our new newsletter. Our goal is to bring to you cutting edge news and information about what is happening in the background screening world to help keep you informed and to position you to make the best possible hiring decisions.

We hope you enjoy ‘Inside Background Screening’ and that you will share your interest and thoughts with us.


Lorenzo Pugliano


July 2018

Samsonite CEO Steps Down After His Credentials are Questioned

Samsonite CEO Ramesh Tainwala recently resigned after a
research report issued by short-seller Blue Orca said he falsely
claimed on his resume that he earned a doctorate in business
administration from Union Institute and University in Cincinnati.
Samsonite called the report “one-sided and misleading,” but will
replace Tainwala with CFO Kyle Gendreau.


Asking a Job Applicant Previous Pay May Violate the Equal Pay Act

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently
enacted a law that prior pay cannot be used to justify wage
differentials between employees under the Equal Pay Act of 1963
(EPA). There are four exceptions to the rule, however: an
employer’s use of a seniority system, an employer’s use of a merit
system, an employer’s use of a quantity-based system and “any
factor other than sex.” Rizo v. Yovino perfectly emphasizes the
importance of the EPA. After the Fresno County Office of
Education used a female employee’s prior pay to explain why it
paid her less than men who performed equal work, the Ninth
Circuit ruled that the employer would no longer be using previous
pay to justify unequal wages under “any factor other than sex.”


Massachusetts’s Attorney General on the Lookout for
Prohibited Criminal History Inquiries

Seventy employers are being investigated for violating
Massachusetts’s “ban the box” law, which prohibits most
businesses from asking about job candidates’ criminal
backgrounds on initial employment applications. The Boston-area
businesses range from a restaurant chain to a skin care company
to a book store. Three of the larger companies were fined $5,000
each and all were required to alter their application process to
comply with state requirements. Warning letters also were sent out
to other companies in question.


July 2018
July 2018

Pennsylvania Governor Wolf Issues Executive Order
Attempting to Address Pay Inequality

In June, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed Executive Order 2018-18-03, which addresses the gender pay gap in the state. All
state agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction have been directed to: No longer inquire about a job applicant’s current compensation or compensation history at any stage during the hiring process; base salaries on job responsibilities, position pay range and the applicant’s knowledge, skills, competencies, experience, compensation requests, or other bona fide factor other than sex, except where compensation is based on clearly defined situations; and clearly identify the appropriate pay range on job postings. Applicants are not, however, prohibited from volunteering information about their current compensation level or salary history.


St. Louis Bans the Box to Help Ex-Offenders Find County

St. Louis County has joined other area governments that have
enacted “ban the box” policies, prohibiting employers from asking
job applicants about their criminal histories in their initial
employment applications. The executive order, signed by St. Louis
County Executive Steve Stenger, asks the county director of
administration and director of personnel to remove criminal history
from employment applications. It does not, however, prevent a
criminal background check as a condition of employment in St.
Louis County government.


July 2018
July 2018

Cannabis Use Across Industries and Occupations: What Can
Business Do?

Nine states and the District of Columbia now have legalized
marijuana for recreational use. Twenty additional states allow
medical marijuana and the numbers are expected to grow.
Employers are finding it difficult to comply with both state and
federal laws since marijuana still remains a Schedule I illegal drug
under the Controlled Substance Act. In April, the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) requested public comments regarding the
use of cannabis, while its advisory panel unanimously
recommended approval of a cannabis-based medication to treat
seizures in children. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also
announced that he would introduce a bill to decriminalize
marijuana under federal law, while President Donald Trump
promised a Colorado senator that he would “support efforts to
protect states with legalized marijuana.” Currently, however,
because of its place as a Schedule I drug, employers are permitted
to require a drug-free workplace, but should consider specific laws
regarding medical marijuana use.


Cannabidiol and Drug Tests

Cannabidiol (CBD), one of approximately 400 compounds found in
cannabis, does not produce a high, but research surrounding its
use is in its early phases. So far, studies have revealed that CBD
“may benefit medical and therapeutic issues such as seizures,
PTSD, neurological diseases, pain, cancer, inflammation and
mood disorders.” Sara Jane Ward, assistant professor of
pharmacology at the Temple University Lewis Katz School of
Medicine, told U.S. News Health that, because the U.S.
Department of Agriculture does not test for CBD, companies are
able to sell its products more often. Available in oil, vapors, and
beauty and health products, the compound itself would not
produce a positive test for marijuana or marijuana metabolite.
However, if the product contains THC at a higher concentration, it’s
possible a drug urine test could come back as positive.


Company Fired Employee for Participation in MedicationAssisted
Treatment for Drug Addiction, Federal Agency

Foothills Child Development Center was found to have violated
federal law under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(EEOC) when it terminated employee Leon Dabrowski, after he
disclosed his participation in a supervised medication-assisted
treatment (MAT) program. The afterschool teacher was hired to
work at the Easley, S.C., facility, but was fired just 30 minutes into
his first day of employment due to the use of Suboxone. Foothills is required to pay Dabrowski $5,000 and also has entered into a fiveyear
consent decree, which requires the company to amend its
written drug use policy to include a clear and specific exclusion to
the policy for individuals who use legally-obtained prescription
medication in a lawfully prescribed manner.

Read more

Maine’s New Recreational Marijuana Law Permits Employers
to Enforce Policies Restricting Use

On May 2, 2018, an amended law permits employers in the state
of Maine to enforce workplace policies restricting the use of
marijuana and to take disciplinary action in accordance with those
workplace policies. The original law prohibited employers from
refusing to employ a person who used marijuana outside of the
employer’s property, while the new law does not require an
employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption,
possession, trade, display, transportation, sale or cultivation of
marijuana or marijuana products in the workplace. In addition, the
new law states that an employer may enact and enforce workplace
policies restricting the use of marijuana and marijuana products,
and allows the employer to discipline employees who are under
the influence of marijuana in the workplace or while otherwise
engaged in activities within the course and scope of employment.


Vermont Attorney General Publishes Guide to Marijuana in the

As a precursor to the enactment of Vermont’s July 1, 2018,
recreational marijuana law, the Vermont Office of the Attorney
General released the “Guide to Vermont’s Laws on Marijuana in
the Workplace” to address key factors regarding the state’s
marijuana laws and guides employers on the topic of drug testing
in the workplace. For example, individuals in the state no longer
will face criminal penalties for possessing up to an ounce of
marijuana or five grams of hashish and two mature and four
immature marijuana plants. Employers still maintain certain rights,
however, regarding the regulation of use, consumption and
possession, as well as policies prohibiting the use of marijuana in
the workplace, among others. The use of prescription marijuana by
employees with certain debilitating medical conditions is permitted
under Vermont’s medical marijuana law, but workplace laws do


July 2018
July 2018

Latest ICE Aggressive Enforcement Targets Northern Ohio
Meat Processing Plant

The arrest of more than 140 workers at four meat processing
plants in Ohio as part of an Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) raid on June 19, 2018, is being called the largest workplace
raid in recent history. The business, Fresh Mark, a member of ICE’s
voluntary ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and
Employers (IMAGE) Program, has reportedly been under investigation
for more than a year.

Read more

July 2018

Disclaimer: All information presented is for information purposes only and is not intended to provide professional or legal advice regarding actions to take in any situation. Nationwide Screening Services makes no representations for any products or services that are mentioned and accepts no responsibility for any actions or consequences taken without the guidance of a licensed attorney or professional consultant

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