Urinalysis Test Cheaters | How Employees & Job Candidates Can Try To “Beat the Test”

You’ve probably heard old wives’ tales about how so and so “beat” a drug test by using various different methods. You’ve also probably seen some of our materials on the benefits of hair follicle drug testing, in contrast to urinalysis. Maybe you follow professional sports and hear about potential first round draft picks dropping because of “diluted” samples. We figured we could take some time to talk about common methods that potential job candidates may use to “beat” a pre employment drug test.

Dilution

This is probably the most widely used, and widely marketed process to avoid a positive urine drug test. Companies all over the U.S. compete to sell their “Detox” drink, that all promise the same thing; undetectable drugs. Though most are known by title as “detox” drinks, they do not detoxify the body. What it actually does is hold the toxins in the body, allowing someone to pass a drug test. A drug user can possibly turn up a negative test by simply drinking the drink 2 hours before, urinating 3-4 times before the test. “100% Satisfaction Guaranteed” is present on most of these products, but oftentimes, the test will show unusual amount of dilution, which should always require an additional test.

Substitution

A simple Google search, much like the dilution “detox” drinks, can find you a multitude of “Urine Substitutes”. Back in the good ole’ days, a potential drug test cheater might just request or purchase another person’s urine, and try and sneak it in, to use as their sample. Nowadays there are all types of products and methods to try and substitute clean urine. Just check out the number of message boards on the internet to see how much thought and effort go into switching urine samples. Typically the strict way to avoid cheating is for a lab worker to literally watch the person urinate, but there are even products that recreate the process using tubing and artificial genitalia. Yes, artificial genitalia.

Adulterating

This is something that you can see a potential candidate try and to, or even a current employee that may want to turn back a random drug test. Basically what adulterating a sample is tampering with the sample by adding certain chemicals that will either mask the drugs in the system or interfere with the equipment/test. Also known as “doping” a sample, someone who wants to buy time for themselves in a random drug test scenario could add soap, salt, bleach, eye drops or something else to try and avoid a positive test.

As you can see, there is a lot of thought and effort that go toward beating drug tests. This is something that every business owner should know and understand, so they can avoid being fooled someone is drug free. Regardless of if you test them in the beginning, a drug user causing an accident or stealing from the job could cost you serious money. It’s always beneficial to administer a urine drug test for any possible candidate prior to hiring, and it’s also vital to think about random and reasonable suspicion drug testing. Hair follicle drug testing could possibly offer a better solution for new hires, with a longer window of detection. If you have any questions about employment drug testing, feel free to send us a message in our contact form, or give us a call!

4 Things To Keep In Mind For Pre-Employment Background Checks

If you’ve found this page, we have a pretty decent feeling you already know there are countless advantages that running comprehensive criminal background checks can offer your business or organization. Ensuring something you’ve given years, or even decades of blood, sweat and tears building is protected against a prospective employee that may not have your best interests at heart is one of, if not the most valuable safe guards you can in invest in.

But outside of carefully considering what questions to ask candidates, hiring managers should also be focusing on when to conduct an advanced background check, what type to run and what sorts of issues will eliminate a prospect from consideration. Today we’re touching on four things to remember when vetting possible employees – to ensure your business has the resources needed to cultivate a positive and successful environment.

Know your fair chance law

A noticeable trend in the last several years has been the fair chance (ban-the-box) movement. These polices require the removal of specific questions on an application that pertain to criminal history. These laws can exist on state, county or city levels and lay out when in the hiring process you can run a background check. It’s important to research the specific laws in your area to know if you’re required to follow the protocol.

Consistency

What type of issues and checks are you going to run on potential employees? Are you concerned about driving history? A credit check? Drug usage? Whatever red flags you identify, make sure you stay consistent throughout your entire roster of applicants. If you run a credit check on one applicant, you have to run the same check on all the other applicants, otherwise you risk being accused of discrimination.

Focus On Relevance

Be mindful not to simply turn away any and all applicants who may have a criminal history, or else you could be face a lawsuit for discrimination. Instead, focus on if an individual’s criminal conviction(s) relate directly to the person’s ability to perform the requisite duties of the job at hand. For example, a misdemeanor for trespassing shouldn’t impact an employee’s ability to perform customer service. On the other hand, if a check turns up a chronic history of violent offenses, they could post a legitimate risk to clients or coworkers.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the age of the offense. If an applicant has a conviction or arrest for a petty or non-violent offence that is fifteen or twenty years old, you can typically consider that information as out of date or irrelevant – just as long as the individual hasn’t been convicted of similar repeat issues since. Naturally, more recent issues should be given increased weight.

FCRA and EEOC Guidelines

Both the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lay out guidelines on how businesses and/or organizations can conduct background checks to make hiring decisions. Some of the information they provide is similar to what we’ve discussed in this post, but there are additional guidelines that every hiring manager should be familiar with.

Hiring the right employee(s) is one of the most integral parts of stocking your business with the requisite assets for success and Employment Screening Services has you covered. Whether it’s reasonable suspicion drug testing, an advanced background check or NYS licence verification in Buffalo NY, we’ve empowered companies all over the Buffalo-Niagara region to identify the type of employees that ultimately facilitate success.

Does Detail Count?  Instant Vs. Manual Background Checks

The level of detail on any specific criminal background check depends on the circumstance.  For example, do you need to commit resources to checking a potential employee’s driving record for a desk job?  Factors to consider are the field, industry and/or niche your company specializes in, the specific position and duties of job you’re screening for and what specific issues your organization considers important to know.  When requesting a background check, the results depend on the specific databases you want assessed, and those vary premised on if an instant or manual report is being used.  Today we’re differentiating between the two reports and what each one is able to yield.

Time Sensitive?  Instant Reports May Fit the Bill

Some types of information can be accessed immediately in the form of online databases.  While one might assume there is one, national database that documents every crime, that’s not the case.  Instead, a combination of databases can be used that have records reported by state and local municipality courts.  One example of this is the Interstate Identification Index System, from which records from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and State repositories can be shared for some purposes that include employee background checks and government licensing.  But it’s important to keep in mind that a significant amount of state records, whether it be from courts or specific law enforcement outlets either aren’t included or haven’t been adequately updated.  As such, a legitimate issue that runs concurrent with these types of reports is that some local courts aren’t always the best at timely updating national databases, resulting in incomplete reports, and the content of information available depends on an individual state.

Manual for Robust Screening

Manual, also known as repository reports are manually recovered by a court reporter.  The source is direct, from the state and/or federal databases and are updated to be current, making sure all information is available.  These reports are available at both the county and federal tiers, and it’s up to an employer to decide what issue(s) they feel are important to screen for.  As the name suggests, the manual report takes more effort and will typically cost a bit more than the instant version(s), but this type of advanced background check will further ensure nothing slips through the cracks, which is often integral to protecting a business or organization.

Whether you need a criminal background check, reasonable suspicion drug testing or want more information on the process, don’t hesitate to contact Employment Screening Services.  With an actual background in law enforcement, we pride ourselves on our ability to protect and serve all employers, to ensure they hire, and retain the most trustworthy candidates to help their business grow.

Embezzled For Years | Local Dealership Looted for Over $1 Million

 

How well do you know your employees? Background checks and pre employment drug testing can certainly help weed out the majority of potential bad hires, but what about existing employees? Recently right here in Buffalo NY, an unfortunate case of broken trust is haunting a local automotive dealership.

Way back in 2001, a woman began working for the dealership. We can’t know whether or not she was given a background check back then, but she has worked for the company ever since. Even if the dealership had run a background report, and done a drug test during the hiring process, a lot can happen, and change, in 15 years. When someone works with the same company for 15 years, and they do a good job, everyone begins to trust them.

So imagine this, the 55 year old woman who’s been with the company for 15 years, serving as Controller for the last 8, has embezzled over $1,000,000!  This nightmare became a reality for the owners of Towne Automotive in Orchard Park. Apparently the woman had been stealing money since 2012. She went almost 5 years without anyone even batting an eye.

It wasn’t until a credit card company called the dealership inquiring about a credit card that wasn’t being used by the dealership that anyone even asked a question. It’s safe to assume the woman was in contact with the credit card company directly, and must have slipped up in some way. But, that didn’t stop her from taking a 7 figure sum over the course of 4 years, right under the other employees noses.

What’s worse, is that an attorney told WGRZ Channel 2 that in most embezzlement cases, the estimated total of money at the time of discovery is only a third or a half of what the actual total is at the conclusion of a case.

“Usually when you first find out about an embezzlement case, it usually then increases by magnitudes of two or three as to what the final amount is in my experience, so if this is the initial amount by the time they get through all the books and find out if she and or other people were also engaged in further embezzlement, it could be a much higher amount,”

This is cold reminder of the reality of what can happen if you don’t pre-screen all potential employees, and keep a close watch over ALL employees. This is how trust is built, over time and experience. Step one is to establish trust with all new hires through verifying they are who they say they are, and ensuring they are drug free and safe to work alongside your other team members. Step two, especially with employees handling large sums of money, is to pay attention to all the details. Letting someone’s leash out, just because they’ve been with the company for x amount of years can cost you large sums of money. In this case, millions of dollars.

For more information on pre employment background screening and various forms of drug testing for employees, contact Employment Screening Services today. We have worked with companies all over WNY, as well as around the country. With a background in law enforcement, we pride ourselves on being here to protect and serve all employers, to ensure they hire, and retain the most trustworthy candidates to help their business grow.

Negligent Hiring | What Does it Mean To Business Owners?

Job candidates that misrepresent his or her employment credentials can potentially expose employers to serious legal liabilities if and when the person or another employee are harmed. Conducting thorough background checks and drug testing potential and current employees are important to help maintain the safety, effectiveness and morale of the organization, and we know that. But it’s also important for employers to understand the magnitude of the liability associated with hiring a job candidate who misrepresented themselves throughout the hiring process.

What is Negligent Hiring?

By definition, negligent hiring is a legal claim made against an employer by a damaged employee/client or third party who claims that the employer either knew about or should have known about a situation in the employee’s past that indicates they may be violent, untrustworthy or under qualified. Generally, in order for a plaintiff to prove negligent hiring claims, they must demonstrate 2 things.

  1. The Employer knew or, in the exercise of ordinary care, should have known of the employee’s unfitness at the time of hiring
  2. The negligently hired employee proximately caused the plaintiff’s injury

Essentially, a plaintiff could be another employee who was injured or harmed, or a family member or friend of another employee. So if someone is hurt or harmed because of someone who was hired based off falsified information, and you didn’t catch it, your company is liable.

Real Life Scenario

In the case of Rucshner v. ADT Security Systems, Inc., a plaintiff made a negligent hiring claim against an authorized security services dealer for ADT Security, Inc. The security services dealer, we will call “Company S” warranted in several of its contracts with ADT that all employees performing services under these agreements had passed a drug screen and a criminal background check. Despite the claim that Company S screened and checked all of their employees, it was found that Company S had not done so with all of their employees, including the employee who sexually assaulted the daughter of the plaintiff.

Company S hired an employee without checking to see if they had a criminal record. A 14 year old girl was sexually assaulted. Her father sued ADT and Company S for negligent hiring because they failed to do a background check on the employee. This is a sad, yet true story, that can all be found in the case of Rucshner v. ADT Security Systems, Inc.

Employment Screening Services prides ourselves on providing comprehensive, tactile background checks for employers because it is important to us. We aim to prevent the wrong people from entering your organization, because it could not only harm your company’s bottom line, it could result in harm to a human being. For information about background screening or drug testing for employment, please don’t hesitate to reach out and give us a call to see what we can do for you moving forward.

 

How a Potential Hire’s Driving Records Give Important Insight Into Responsibility

A quality and comprehensive employee screening processes has increasingly become an integral cog in both filling job openings and establishing the trusted, and effective human capital needed to run a successful business and/organization.  While it’s common knowledge that companies use criminal and credit history during the screening process, driving records are often overlooked and underutilized.  Some employers may not fully understand the potential benefits of including driving records in the hiring process, but in reality, these records can yield a myriad of information that can signal problems down the road and should be taken into account by employers.

Temperament and Behavior

Driving records can provide a window into an applicant’s temperament and character — sometimes even more so than a traditional sit down interview.  Infractions or chronic traffic issues can mean behavioral trends and provide a candid look into the life of a potential employee.  Does a record implicate road rage or is there a regular occurrence of accidents?  Aggressive traits can translate into aggressive driving.  A potential hire who is a calm, careful and responsible driver is not going to have a long list of traffic violations and/or accidents.  Driving records that include a laundry list of infractions are riddled with red flags.  Think of it this way.  If an applicant can’t be trust with your vehicle, why would you trust them with your business?

But Isn’t Drug and Criminal Record Screening Enough?

While there is a plethora of information that can be gained from driving records, one of the main reasons hiring managers use them is to determine if an applicant is reliable and safe on the road — not to mention shedding light on responsibility and dependability levels.  For jobs that entail travel or transit via company vehicles, employers are rightfully interested in assessing the potential risk factor behind the wheel.  Needles to say if an applicant has a questionable driving record, it could bring high insurance rates.  Not only can insurance rates rise, but employers have to worry about liability.  The last issue any company needs is an employee being responsible for injury another individual.

No Show

Another important factor that driving records show goes a long way into determining general responsibility and professionalism.  If a potential hire’s history shows a repeated failure to appear in court, what makes you think they’ll show up to work or perform with the level of responsibility you expect out of a paid employee?  If an applicant hasn’t taken a summons into court seriously, it raises a substantial red flag.  If an individual is willing to blow off a judge, it’s time to questions where work falls in their hierarchy of priorities?

ESS offers the most comprehensive and effective packages of advanced background checks — From employment drug testing in Buffalo, NY and NYS  license verification to hair drug tests. For more information on employee drug testing, please feel free to contact us or give us a call at (716) 332-2274.

Data Shows Increase in Employee Cocaine, Marijuana and Amphetamine Usage

According to a recent report out of the New York Times, Employers across the country are experiencing increased difficulty in hiring protocol as job seekers and current human resources alike both refuse to take and/or are unable to successfully complete required drug tests.  The problem speaks to growing drug use in adult demographics as businesses increase efforts to cultivate safe workplace environments for staff.

While finding qualified and committed employees can be a considerable challenge, the reality is that drug use is a legitimate and expanding factor in filling open jobs in an economy that has stabilized since the 2008 recession.  The number of employees yielding positive results for illicit drug use increased for the second consecutive year in 2014 after having declined from 1988 to 2012.  In fact workplace urine tests that tested positive for illegal substances has risen a shocking 9 percent, according to Quest Diagnostics, a testing services and health care company.

Naturally, increasing drug usage is seen in some sectors more than others, putting a dent in the available labor pool for fields that typically experience higher levels of turnover and increased risks to employee safety — such as transportation and/or construction.

Even in the modern era of changing state marijuana laws — legalization of medical grade or, in some cases, general legalization, positive results increased in other drugs as we’ve recently covered.  Albeit Marijuana held onto its place atop commonly found drug usage.  Experts say there has been an undeniable increase in the number of people using Marijuana daily as usage has doubled from 2004 to 2014 alone and increased by nearly 8 time since 1992.  Interestingly enough, positive marijuana tests in states that have legalized the drug (Colorado and Washington) haven’t seen a significant increase compared the rest of the country.

Related: Positive Employment Drug Test Results Increase For 2nd Consecutive Year

With the alarming data pointing to increased drug usage, it remains integral for employers to screen efficiently, and perhaps more important, intelligently to ensure the quality employee base required to accomplish mutually beneficial goals.  Employment drug testing will save money, time and resources to ensure your first hire is the correct hire.  Whether your business’s unique demands require a hair follicle drug test, a urinalysis test or even NY license verification, it always benefits an employer to weed out any suspected substance abuse in both current or prospective employees.

For more information on how to set up any drug analysis your business requires, don’t hesitate to contact us or give us a call at (716) 332-2274

Quest Diagnostics Shows Increasing Trend of Drug Use in America’s Workforce

The percentage of drug usage in working-age Americans continues to increase, according to a recent report published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The federal-government research institute works to advance science on the causes and consequences of drug use and addiction and to apply the knowledge to improve individual and public health.

The report shows the staggering results of a national survey on drug use and health trends in prevalence of various drug usage for multiple age ranges. In the 18 to 25-year-old age range, increased usage over the last month was reported in cocaine, hallucinogens, LSD, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana. In the 26-years-old and older range, usage over the last month had increased in LSD, Heroin and Methamphetamine. But the trends in these drugs signify a general concern: according to analysis by Quest Diagnostics, workforce drug use in the U.S has now reached a 10-year high.

“Our nationally representative analysis clearly shows that drug use by the American workforce is on the rise, and this trend extends to several different classes of drugs and categories of drug tests.”
-Barry Sample, Ph.D., senior director, science and technology, Quest Diagnostics Employer Solutions.

Hair follicle drug tests, reasonable suspicion drug tests and urinalysis tests are just a few variations of employment drug testing that employers can use to avoid hiring drug users. Beyond productivity and efficiency concerns, Sample went on to stress the effect drugs have on safety in the work environment.

“The 2015 findings related to post-accident testing results should also be of concern to employers, especially those with safety-sensitive employees.”

With drug usage in the workforce continuing to rise, properly screening prospective employees plays an increasingly-important role in establishing a culture that your business, and employees can thrive in. Creating that environment requires effective screening protocol that identifies current, recent and/or long-term drug usage alike. Whether you need advanced background checks in Buffalo, NY, urinalysis, E-verify or even NY license verification, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (716) 332-2274 to discuss your specific needs. Establishing quality human resources is integral component of success and our experience in helping employers

Small Businesses Hesitant to Report Employee Theft

A recent study on small businesses reporting employee theft to authorities may surprise you.  The research studied surveys of 314 small business owners in the Cincinnati, Ohio region and covered an eclectic mix of industries including manufacturing, service, restaurant, retail and finance/banking.  30 in-person interviews were also included.

The study’s author, Jay Kennedy, published his results as a University of Cincinnati criminal justice doctoral student.  His research shows that most small business owners decline to solicit police involvement when an employee is caught pilfering.  64 percent of small businesses have experienced theft by an employee although just 16 percent opted to report the incident to police. The study sheds light on the downfalls that could occur, should  you not include some sort of background check or pre employment screening in your company’s hiring process.

Four main reasons were offered as to why employers don’t report theft.

Victim-less Crime

Many owners won’t involve authorities because the crime isn’t seen as involving enough victims to be worth the time, trouble and/or resources required to advance through court processes.  Firing the employee is viewed as adequate enough.

Legal Counsel

Legal representation often advises against moving forward premised on required costs outweighing financial outcome.  The study points to one company that lost $200,000.  After the employee was successfully convicted, they were put on probation and required to pay just $50 a month in restitution.  Essentially, the business will never come close to receiving full restitution.

Relationships

Often, an employee that is caught stealing has worked at the business for years and become embedded with the business owner emotionally.  They sometimes are regarded as family or friend and have spent some amount of leisure time together outside work or know each other’s families.  The report claims that owners often want to put the incidence in the rear-view mirror and move forward as soon as possible.

Ineffective Justice System

Small business owners may view the criminal justice system as being incompetent or futile.  The study reports that employee theft often involves complex finances and a typical police officer isn’t viewed as having the skill set to deploy adequate intervention.  Additionally, small business owners often believe police forces are inundated with more stereotypical duties — such as patrolling the streets.

Cash was found to be the most common item stolen — making up 40 percent of small business theft.  Cash thefts involved in the study fell between just $5 up to $2 million with a median amount of $20,000 and Kennedy suggests the more money stolen has a direct relationship to the level of trust in the employee involved — both concurrently increasing.

Furthermore, Kennedy questioned a common theory that employee theft is based on lack of personal financial resources — pressing medical issues or other desperate circumstances.  Instead, he says the crimes are premised in what he calls “lifestyle enhancement,” with the convicted unable to account for how the money had been spent.

Besides cash, other items stolen were products (18 percent), production materials (12 percent), tools (8 percent) and equipment (6 percent).  Most thefts were found to have taken place over time, in lieu of a single occurrence.  61 percent of the thefts ranged from two weeks up to 20 years with the median being 16 months while most schemes were only uncovered by luck.

60 percent of employees identified as most likely to take part in employee theft were general or first-line in nature, meaning personnel at the lower rungs of the business that didn’t hold management or supervisory responsibilities.  Approximately 20 percent were managers/executives while the rest were made up in small numbers of accountants, bookkeepers, receptionists, secretaries and billing professionals.  Kennedy says only 2 percent of cashiers, who typically handle cash, were likely to take part in employee theft.

The damaging repercussions of employee theft is a process no business owner wants to go through.  ESS’s experience in the criminal background check process goes beyond the baseline.  Our reputation for  an advanced background check process can include hair drug tests, license verification or even 5 and 10 panel drug tests and offers employers the transparency to make the right choices.  We can cater to whatever unique safeguards your company requires.  Finding the best employees is a process and ESS is here to help you along the way.

Hair Follicle Drug Testing | What’s the Upside?

As we have mentioned, it really is a no brainer to incorporate pre employment drug testing to your potential new hires. Each method of drug testing has it’s own benefits, whether it be cost or turnaround time. Using hair as a specimen for drug testing is beneficial in it’s own way, for a variety of reasons. ESS is here for any questions you may have about any pre employment screening. Here are a few benefits of hair drug tests for employees.

Harder To Cheat. Harder to Beat.

There are countless websites with methods on how to beat a urine drug test. Any head shop nowadays will carry synthetic urine, special diluting drinks that a marijuana user could use within days of the test, and still possibly “beat the test.”

Drug testing specimens can be diluted, substituted (donor uses urine that is not actually theirs), or adulteration (manipulating the urine so drugs cannot be detected).

Bottom Line: Hair specimens are by nature almost impossible to dilute and very difficult to adulterate.

 

Longer Detection Window.

When it comes to laboratory positive detection rates, hair follicle drug testing has a big advantage over urine drug testing. Bottom line, drugs stay in a humans hair longer than it does their urine specimen.

Drugs Detectable in Urine Specimen – 4 Hours – 7 Days

Drugs Detectable in Hair Specimen – 7 Days to 90 Days

Each Drug is different in terms of detection windows, and every person is different as well. Regardless of who you are drug testing, when the last time they used was, etc, using hair follicle specimens as a means of pre employment drug testing will provide an increased hit rate.

Bottom Line: Hair drug testing can increase hit rate, which can lower risk, cost of failed tests, and facilitate a safer workplace for your team.

These are only 2 primary reasons why a company can benefit more from a hair follicle drug test than other forms of pre employment drug tests, but once again, each company profile is different.

Some companies may not need the “scare tactic” of weeding extras out with the public knowledge of a hair drug test. Some companies may need to prevent this as soon as possible, in the hiring process, to avoid hiring the wrong employee. Either way, contact ESS for any further information on drug testing and pre employment screening.