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.

Better Safe Than Sorry | 3 Ways Your Business Could Be at Risk if You Don’t Pre Screen

When it comes to hiring a new employee, it’s always important to find someone with a good reputation. But how can you know someone you just met? Where has this person been?  In order to truly find out about an employee’s past, background screening is necessary.

Some may say that pre employment screening is a waste of money, but if you hire the wrong person, it could cost you much more. In fact, employee screening can save your money and can protect your business from failing.

Here are 3 ways your business could be at risk if you don’t check a new hire’s history:

The Wrong Hire Can Lower Current Employee Morale and Productivity.

Don’t let one bad egg ruin your perfect team synergy. Your employees are what keep your company breathing, so you want them to be happy working together. Performing a thorough background check will prevent you from hiring the wrong person, and will decrease your company’s risks of damaging reputation, or losing customers/market share.

The Cost of a Bad Hire Can Cost You.. Big Time.

This includes training, severance costs, and productivity lost. Hiring and firing the wrong person could cost your company up to 5x the applicant’s annual salary. So many businesses across all industries end up wasting time, money, and resources to find another, replacement employee. A background check will help you avoid hiring the wrong people and will save you money and time.

You significantly increase the risk of employee theft.

15% of applicants have admitted to stealing merchandise from an employer. Reducing the risk of employee theft with screening will prevent you from losing money and products. Performing a criminal background check can help you know that you aren’t hiring someone who will steal from the company. 

It’s important to make sure you are hiring the right people to be a part of your staff. Our background check services help you ensure you are able to hire with confidence. For employee verification and other pre-employment screening services, please give ESS a call to learn more about what we can do for you!

 

Why E-Verify is Critical for ESS Clients

U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. This diverse workforce contributes greatly to the vibrancy and strength of our economy, but that same strength also attracts unauthorized employment.

Employment Screening Services can protect your organization from investigation and fines related to violations that you may not even realize you may be committing.

Did you know that E-Verify, though seemingly easy to use, has strict policies that could result in your company being fined, in upwards of $3,200? For example, in the event that there was an error in the hiring process, and your company failed to comply with Form I-9 requirements, you will be fined at the very least $110, but potentially up to $1,100.

Other factors, like document fraud, such as forging documents or not ensuring accurate information will result in a $375 dollar fine. See the infographic for more in depth analysis of the fines associated with various infractions.

Failure to comply with the regulations of I-9 and E-Verify can result in more than just economic ramifications. Lack of attention to detail in this facet of documentation also puts you at risk legally, as well as the public reputation of your company. Don’t let oversight put your corporate image in a bad light.

All of our employees here at ESS have reviewed all of the rules and regulations of E-Verify in depth. We have extensive experience working with E-Verify, having used the service since 2011. We can watch over all of your documentation with I-9 and E-Verify, so you can get back to running your business and not agonize over Government regulations.

For employee verification and other pre employment screening services, please give Employment Screening Services a call today!

Amidst Officer’s Overdose, BPD Reveals Drug Test Void

Last week at 3am on Friday morning, Buffalo Police and first responders saved a man from overdosing on heroin. In the thick of an epidemic facing the region – almost 400 heroin related overdose deaths since 2014 – this was the first time that emergency services were provided to a Buffalo Police officer.

The 26-year-old man had been a member of the Buffalo Police Force for the last two years. He was saved by being administered two doses of Narcan, an opiate antidote, and is luckily recovering. The daunting event sheds even more reality of the problem of substance abuse in the region, having a man employed to prevent such events from happening overdose himself.

With the story surrounding the man’s overdose, questions were raised when it was revealed that no one employed by the Buffalo Police Dept. has been drug tested for over two years.

The last doctor who administered random drug tests to Buffalo Police left his contract two years ago, leaving the position void, and meaning no one would be drug tested.

Another officer aware of the overdose of his comrade had this to say, reported by the Buffalo News.

“The department has a zero-tolerance policy on drugs, and something like this really is shocking. Right now, we are in shock mode. This is unheard of.”

How could the department have a zero-tolerance policy on drugs without any form of employment drug testing?

“This is the first time we have had an officer who had taken heroin. We’ve had other officers in the past who have lost their jobs because they tested positive for marijuana or cocaine, but this is the first time we’ve had heroin.”

The department normally conducts random drug testing on officers at least once a year, but haven’t for over two years. Police Benevolent Association President Kevin Kennedy claimed that finding a new source for drug testing is a top priority.

“The city is hoping to have a new medical review officer in place by April or May and the plan is to have 100 percent testing every year for four years,” Kennedy said.

The role of a medical review officer is to set the protocol for testing and examine lab test results to verify if anyone has violated the department’s zero-tolerance policy for illegal drug use. Mayor Byron Brown didn’t directly answer why the position hasn’t been filled for over two years, but he had this to say, as reported by WGRZ.

“We have an RFP that’s in the field. The language in the RFP has been agreed to by the police management and the PBA,” said Brown. “We expect to have a doctor retained soon to do that kind of work.”

The fact that the officer survived the overdose is extremely fortunate, but it is baffling how no drug testing has been administered to Buffalo Police Officers for over two years. There are countless benefits to pre employment, reasonable suspicion, and random drug testing. It almost always benefits the employer, in the sense of weeding out any suspected substance abuse of their employees, but with the rise in overdose related deaths in Western New York, drug testing also ensures the safety and wellbeing of the employees themselves.

 

For more information on employee drug testing, please feel free to contact us or give us a call at (716) 332-2274.

Positive Employment Drug Test Results Increase for 2nd Consecutive Year

Decades long decline shows possible reversal in workforce drug use.

The percentage of American workers who tested positive for illicit drugs increased for the second consecutive year in the U.S. workplace. This comes from a study based on over 10 million pre employment and employment drug tests by Quest Diagnostics. Employment drug testing significantly decreases the risk involved in hiring a new employee that could cost you money, and damage your reputation.

“American workers are increasingly testing positive for workforce drug use across almost all workforce categories and drug test specimen types. In the past, we have noted increases in prescription drug positivity rates, but now it seems illicit drug use may be on the rise, according to our data,” “These findings are especially concerning because they suggest that the recent focus on illicit marijuana use may be too narrow, and that other dangerous drugs are potentially making a comeback.”

-Robert Dupont, former Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Urinalysis tests, hair follicle drug tests, and reasonable suspicion drug testing are a few variations of employment drug testing that employers use to avoid hiring drug users.

Illicit drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine are clearly associated with impaired physical and cognitive functions. Dupont went on to talk about the risks involved with employees who use these illicit drugs, in our outside of the workplace.

“The increases in illicit drug positivity in employment drug testing should get employers and policymakers to take notice of the serious risks these drugs create for productivity, health and safety,”

With trends showing an increase in positive drug test results, now is the time to ensure your potential new hire, or current employee pool is drug free. The only way to verify the trust between you and your team is to instill a drug testing policy. For information about pre employment drug testing, urinalysis tests, hair drug tests, or any employment verification services, please give us a call at 716-332-2274.