Quest Diagnostics Encourages eCCF Form, ESS Is Already Paperless

In their most recent newsletter, Quest Diagnostics announced/reminded employers that the old Custody and Control Forms (CCF) would be expiring on June 30. This was to prevent misfiling or using forms that are out of date. In the event that the old CCF form is used following June 30th, the drug testing process will take much more time, causing hiccups in your hiring process.

Luckily, if you’re working with or choose to work with Employment Screening Services for your pre employment drug testing, our services already are paperless. Along with being a client of ours, comes your personal portal entry into the system that enables you to gain access to drug test results quickly and seamlessly.

The form revision isn’t anything too different, just removes a few items and updates a few types of drugs, including four new analytes: oxycodone (OXYC), oxymorphone (OXYM), hydrocodone (HYC), and hydromorphone (HYM). Using old paper forms and new forms can cause issues with overlap, or omission, and take more time to get results back. Quest highlights the ability to use the eCCF form to help avoid this issue, and encourages you to GO GREEEN and switch to eCCF for both federal and non-federal drug testing.

Here are a few reasons why using the eCCF through our ESS Secure Login for Federal and non-Federal drug testing makes your life easier:

  • Fewer Data Entry / Legibility Issues
  • Faster Drug Test Collections
  • Improved Overall Efficiency
  • Less Paperwork
  • Streamlined Delivery to Client

For more information on Drug Testing with Employment Screening Services, simply fill out this form or give us a call. We’re more than happy to answer any questions about federal regulations, or your current in house drug testing policies.

Quest Diagnostics Reports Workforce Drug Positivity Rising, Yet Again

As partners to Quest Diagnostics, ESS likes to follow the trends in workforce drug screening. As we’ve seen in past reports, it seems that some particular drugs have been popping up more and more as of late. Quest provides a published journal called the Drug Testing Index (DTI) that provides insight into drug use across the country. Every year for the last 30 years Quest publishes this report as a public service for employers, government, policymakers, media, and the public.

Highest in Ten Years

Increases in particular drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana have continued the trend of positive tests for workforce drug testing. According to this years DTI, drug use by the American workforce remains at the highest rate in over a decade. This is unfortunate in accordance with the 30 year anniversary of the Drug-Free Workplace Act.

“It’s unfortunate that we mark 30 years of the Drug-Free Workplace Act with clear evidence that drugs continue to invade the country’s workplaces. Not only have declines appeared to have bottomed out, but also in some drug classes and areas of the country, drug positivity rates are increasing.”

  • Barry Sample, Ph.D., Senior Director of Science & Technology at Quest Diagnostics Employer Solutions

Here are a few notable findings from the study, which draws from over 10 million workplace drug test results.

  • Cocaine positivity rates increased for the 5th consecutive year, in every specimen type
  • After a 30 year low in 2012, positivity rate remained at 4.2%
  • Marijuana positivity continued it’s 5 year upward trajectory
  • Marijuana positivity was higher in states that enacted new recreational use legislation
  • Methamphetamine positivity skyrocketed in Midwest and Southern States

Being that drug test positivity rates are at a decade long high, it’s clear that any business, large or small, should ensure they’re hiring great employees by drug testing ahead of time. It’s also suggested to provide random drug tests following the hiring process, just to be sure your employees are maintaining their dedication to a healthy mind and body, as well as obeying the law. Your company’s reputation rests on the backs of the individuals who keep the ship afloat, and that’s why you need to screen your employees. For more information on employment drug testing with ESS, just give us a call or reach out via our contact form!

Young Professionals & Smart Drugs | Why You Drug Test

If you’re in the business of hiring young professionals who may be fresh out of college or graduate school, you should be aware of smart drugs. Over the last decade or so, there has been a significant increase in the use of drugs like Adderall, a prescription controlled substance created to help treat individuals with ADHD. Here’s a little more information about drugs like Adderall, and why you should know about them.

Easy to Find

Many young people can get their hands on Adderall while in college. It isn’t too cumbersome to get a prescription to the drug, but it is even easier to find some on a college campus. A study called The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that Adderall misuse is highest among 18-25 year olds, who are getting the medication through another source, such as a friend or a dealer. Simply ask a young person what they know about Adderall, and you might learn a thing or two.

An Edge

So why are these kids using drugs that aren’t prescribed to them? Many will attest to the drugs ability to focus in on, and complete tasks that otherwise might be challenging or undesirable. Someone with ADHD probably takes the drug daily, and is so used to it, they would feel as if they weren’t themself without it. Someone who doesn’t have a prescription could use the drug to help complete an important or difficult task, and become dependent on the drug for success. Despite common awareness that misuse of the drug can cause issues and side effects, the edge that Adderall and other “smart” drugs provide is enough to keep people looking.

Why It Matters

So what does this have to do with hiring? We often talk about what can happen in the event you don’t drug test employees, or what could happen if someone using were to make a mistake on the job. Don’t you want employees who are honest, hardworking, and find motivation in the work? You have to be aware that the normalcy of these drugs for college students puts them in a position of feeling like taking a drug like adderall is associated with doing work. If you’re going to be hiring them to do your work, you want to count on them every day, not just if they found a pill the doctor didn’t even give them.

You should always drug test your employees prior to making a hiring decision. There are specific risks that could occur if you don’t. When hiring young professionals, the chances of them failing a drug test are significantly higher, so establishing that trust can be challenging. They are new, fresh, and can bring a lot to a company, but you should always make sure that their attitude matches their resume. You wouldn’t want to hire someone who isn’t as good as they are when they are on a drug that isn’t theirs.

Hospital Finance Director Charged With $3 Million Embezzlement

Sometimes, you may have an employee who checks out at the beginning of the hiring process, and climbs the success ladder. You can know someone for years before realizing they aren’t who you thought they were. This was the case in North Carolina, where a 46 year old woman has been charged with federal crimes for embezzling over $3 million from a hospital that she was the Finance director for.

For a period of 13 years. Kimberly Russell Hobson, 46, used a scheme that utilized fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises along with false materials to shuffle money into separate accounts. Some went to her, some to her family and friends. She would eventually be caught and plead guilty to wire fraud, bank fraud, and identity theft.

On two major occasions, Hobson transferred huge sums of money into a Wells Fargo account, directly from a hospital subsidiary account. These occasions happened about 13 months apart, but consisted of transfers of $17,359 and $22,260. Following these two there were several more transfers about one per year up until August of 2017.

When convicted, Hobson will be due to forfeit the following:

  • $3.8 million dollars
  • 2 vehicles including a 2014 BMW and a 2013 Harley Davidson
  • Funds on deposit, totaling $109,704
  • Personal property and cash in Hobson’s possession at her arrest including a Louis Vuitton handbag and cosmetic bag; two Mont Blanc pens; Louis Vuitton sunglasses and case; Louis Vuitton wallet with various credit cards; and a pearl necklace.

Over a decade this woman worked in a high ranking position. Over a decade she stole mass amounts of money directly from the company. Hiring the wrong employee can be prevented through proper background screening during the hiring process. It can’t be stated if the accused was using drugs, or had any criminal record in the past, but ensuring all of your employees don’t is not that cumbersome. Working with a proven background check company like ESS enables you to help speed up the hiring process, and weed out the wrong candidates.

Full Story: North Carolina Woman Pleads not Guilty to Stealing $3M from Hospital

ESS is a national leader in drug testing and background checks for employers. No matter what industry you’re working in, you’re only as strong as your weakest employee. Hiring the right team to perform their duties is one of the most important factors for any business. The opiate epidemic has hit an all time high, which is unfortunate, but also a chilling reminder of why you should always ensure your employees are drug free.

You want to make sure anyone who is going to be handling business under your company’s name is going to be on the up and up, and won’t damage the company reputation. For more information on working with ESS, simply fill out our contact form or give us a call! We love meeting new potential clients and helping them better their organization.

ESS Expanding Down South to Florida

Employment Screening Services has been a proud provider of employment drug testing and background checks for companies all over the countries for years. We work tirelessly to ensure that we provide the most comprehensive background check packages for companies large and small, but we are proud to make a new announcement.

After years of preparation and planning, Employment Screening Services is expanding to the Florida market.

We aren’t leaving our current and original location up in Buffalo, NY. We will continue to be headquartered there, but with an expansion to the Florida area, we will be able to offer the same great customer experience to new clientele in and around Sarasota, Florida. Because we have worked so hard for almost 20 years, we are able to provide competitive rates for background checks and drug testing.

With a law enforcement background, ESS takes pride in the background check process. There is passion behind what we do. Anyone who has worked with our team would vouch that our customer service is second to none in this industry. So many times instant check services claim to provide you with anything you need. So many times this isn’t the case, and with ESS, all clients are provided with a personal Account Manager.

You’ll always have personal access to our staff, if you need anything or have any questions. Working as a partner to Quest Diagnostics, any lab work or drug testing you need for your employees will be at a low rate. Our staff is well trained, and take pride in making sure the client is happy.

For employers in Sarasota, Florida, and the surrounding areas, ESS is here to help. With years of experience working with various industries all over the country, we have the team to help provide an astute assessment of your potential new hires. We provide all types of pre employment background checks, employee drug testing, and criminal record searches. We primarily work with employers, to help them hire the people who are best suited to help their company.

If you need an experienced partner for background checks and/or drug testing for employees, know that Employment Screening Services is here.

 

The Dos and Dont’s of Reasonable Suspicion Drug Testing

Drug testing in the workplace can lead to some awkward encounters. Employees can feel like the work environment is against them or that they are targeted if the topic of drug use is brought up. So how does an employer balance a somewhat touchy topic? Reasonable suspicion drug testing is how. This clause in any work contract lets the employee know that if there is any cause for suspicion, they will be tested.

What actually is Reasonable Suspicion?

The employer has a legitimate reason, based on sound judgement and hard evidence, to believe that the employee has been taking drugs. There is no guessing, speculating, listening to hearsay or discriminating against them.There also are exceptions to this criteria. Examples of reasonable suspicion might include but are not limited to:

* Direct observation of drug use and/or physical symptoms of drug use

* Abnormal behaviors

* Evidence that the employee has used, possessed, sold, solicited, or transferred drugs while working or at work

At Employment Screening Services, we are here to help you run a safer, more effective workplace. So here are some dos and dont’s when implementing a reasonable suspicion drug testing policy;

Dos

Let employees know up front that they are subject to being tested if there is a reasonable question of their sobriety. This question should be brought to light by 2 concurring supervisors.

Train management a minimum of two hours of on reasonable suspicion signs, symptoms and documentation. Retraining those individuals on a yearly basis is highly recommended.

Be specific! If filing a reasonable suspicion action against an employee, keep the language concise and specific as possible.

Dont’s

Do not based any action on a prior incident. Reasonable suspicion is only for events that you have directly seen!

Do not over exaggerate or use anecdotes. When creating the claim be specific as possible.

Employee Screening Services wants to help you decrease turnover, accidents, and theft from your workplace. If you’d like to talk about employment drug testing, just give us a call and we can start working together asap!

Sign of the Times | Substance Abuse Amongst Young People

It’s important to screen and check any potential new employee. This is a them across most of the posts here on our blog, but today we wanted to talk a little about drug and alcohol abuse amongst young people. You might be surprised to hear how The Lucky Few, (1923-1942), Baby Boomers (1943-1962), Generation X (1963-1982), and Millenials (1983-2002) vary in drug and alcohol abuse. Taking a look at the infographic below might help shed a little light on the subject, as the results are pretty interesting.

For one, alcohol is the most used substance across all four generations. When at the peak of use, Millenials, Gen X, and Boomers used alcohol in over 80% of cases. The second most commonly used substance across all generation was marijuana. The drug use amongst Baby Boomers seemed to be the most prevalent amongst all 4 generations. It was painkillers, specifically opioids, that the Millenial Generation seemed to stand out much more than any of the other 3 generations. This is unfortunate, yet not surprising as we have seen the opioid epidemic reach records highs.

If you’d like to talk about employment drug testing, just give us a call and we can start working together asap!

 

Employment Verification | A No Brainer for Hiring Employers

When you’re looking into a potential new hires’ eyes, and they tell you why they’re a great fit for the job, they might not be lying. They very well could be a great person to fill the position. You look down at the resume and back at them. It seems almost too good to be true. They have experience working in your industry, they’ve worked in a higher position than they are seeking, and they have more years in the industry than candidate B.

Candidate B seems a little nervous. You can tell this is important to them, and they’ve told you they know their experience in the industry might not be the highest, but they’ve worked so hard to get this opportunity. All you can think about is the confidence in the eyes of candidate A, who you KNOW has what it takes to perform at a high level, because they’ve “been there before.”

Who do you go with? Do you verify the dates and positions listed in the resume of candidate A? You could see they were confident, and have time invested. What could happen if you don’t?

Did You Know?

86% of people surveyed by HireRight in 2015 indicated that verifying employment revealed candidates who lied on their resume. This means something, anything related to their work history, was a lie. Still trust candidate A? There may be gaps in employment for reasons out of the candidate’s control, but there might also be intent to show off they are more than qualified, when in reality they aren’t.

Reasons Someone Might Lie About Employment History

  • Small Business Venture
  • Maternity Leave
  • Return to School
  • Incarceration
  • Extend Job Start/End Date
  • Boost Job Title for Higher Salary

As a qualified and experience background check company, Employment Screening Services provides employment verification included in our background check packages. You should always make sure your potential hire is being truthful in their resume, as well as throughout the interview process. Trust is all you have at the beginning of a working relationship, and if you hire the wrong person, you face threats of having to retrain after a failed hire, workplace accidents, financial mistakes, and much more. To talk to someone from ESS about employment verification checks, just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

Workaholics Anonymous | Drug Abuse Among Nurses

Nursing is one of the most admirable positions a person can hold. It takes a kind, strong soul to maintain the desire to continue helping people each and every day. The endless workload can take it’s toll on nurses, as double shifts, rotating shifts, decreased staffing and other factors can lead to high levels of stress. Fatigue, alienation, and the “workaholic” mentality can be tough to deal with and oftentimes, lead to nurses living, breathing, and sleeping through their work. This can lead to drug and alcohol abuse.

Much like anyone else, someone who is in an unstable environment is at risk for abusing alcohol or drugs. Unfortunately for nurses, though the work they do is for the betterment of patients and their families, it is indeed an unstable environment for them. They battle through it each and every day and continue to show up, and that is a testament to all nurses all over the country.

The American Nurses Association has estimated that around 8% of nurses use either alcohol or drugs to an extent that could impair their professional judgement. One could suspect that up to 10% of nurses have alcohol or drug abuse problems, based on the lifestyle that nurses are forced to live. Prescription-type medication use has been noted to be higher among nurses, while cocaine and marijuana use is lower than the general population.

Drug and alcohol abuse can greatly affect an individual’s wellbeing, as well as their families and friends. This could increase tenfold when dealing with the responsibilities that a nurse has when taking care of patients. Drug abuse from nurses is a very harmful and dangerous situation. Just a few consequences that could happen when a nurse is using drugs or abusing alcohol include:

  • Patient mistreatment, including incorrect basic care, medication errors and abuse
  • Patient death
  • Higher hospital or clinic costs associated with legalities of patient mistreatment, stolen drugs, lost wages, training, and re-hiring
  • Nurses may lose time due to treatment, thus receive lower wages
  • Nurses can lose their job and even their entire career depending on the damage drug abuse has caused in their life

Employers that are hiring new nurses should be aware of the risks associated, and implement a drug testing policy with all employees. There are benefits to pre employment drug testing, in order to weed out potential hires who use drugs, but because of how much responsibility a nursing staff has, regular or random drug testing should be on the minds of employers. If you are in charge of hiring new personel at a hospital, nursing home, or any health care facility, turn to an employment drug testing company who takes their position seriously. Employment Screening Services has a long list of clients who know the passion that goes into helping the right people get hired, and preventing the wrong ones from causing harm to your company.

College Football Player Dies During Workout, Strength Coach Not Certified

Employment Screening Services is a company that prides ourselves on ensuring your organization hires the right man or woman for the job. The way we go about this is by verifying and checking the background of your potential new hire, and ensuring that they are completely honest and compliant with your organization’s regulations. Education and employment verification is something we specialize in. The following story is a very tragic one.

This past June, a teenager attended his football workout. The temperature was 81 degrees. A hot day, but nothing out of the ordinary. Running the workouts that day would be Ross Bowsher, the head football sports performance coach. Tyler Heintz, 19, was enrolled in early summer classes and preparing to fulfill his long term goal of playing division 1 football at Kent State. As an incoming freshman, he had yet to even strap on the pads, as this was a summer preseason workout, to show dedication and commitment.

That morning, Tyler Heintz would collapse around 9am. He was pronounced dead shortly after.

A tragic story of a young man destined to fulfill his dreams. The cause of death was initially undetermined, but has now been determined was due to hyperthermia (inability of the body to properly cool itself). This was one of 35 college football players that have died since 2000. 29 of those deaths were related to outside preseason conditioning or offseason drills.

One of the things the NCAA has done to combat this problem is requiring all strength coaches to be certified by a sanctioning body. This was a change made in 2015, after Bowsher had been employed at Purdue and Arkansas Tech. He clearly had no intention of harming any of the players, as he was employed to strengthen and condition his players. He was entering his 2nd year as the strength coach at Kent State. 

Following Heintz’s death, both certification bodies, the National Strength Coaches Association and Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association reached out to CBS Sports to tell them that Bowsher was not certified by either association.

A teenager died during a workout with an uncertified strength coach.

So what does this have to do with background screening? Well, what we do is prevent organizations from hiring someone who is unqualified. Depending on the industry, which all have different regulations, we check and maintain that everything on their work history is verified, and ensure that any obligatory accreditations are met. This helps prevent lawsuits. Lawsuits like the one that will probably be instituted on the case of Tyler Heintz. Though the coach had been certified in “Personal Training” from IUPUI, which is a program designed to prepare students for accreditation tests, he was never formally certified.

This not only causes a bad look for the University and it’s administration, but is going to lead to a hefty lawsuit. The Conditioning Coaches Association Executive Director has this to say about the matter.

“Today, the way liability is, if you’re not certified by an accredited organization you’re walking on thin ice.” Lawsuits could be $20 million-$30 million dollars. I can’t imagine hiring someone without the appropriate credentials.”

A tragic story of a young man losing his life. An unfortunate example of how improper hiring practices and failing to ensure all regulations are verified can end up costing massive amounts of money to an organization.