Should You Reconsider Your Pre-Employment Screening?


CCS Construction_Inside Our Hiring Process

With the Great Resignation happening, you may be looking for ways to speed up your hiring process. This lets you bring aboard qualified applicants while they’re still looking for positions.

One method you may be considering is the elimination of your pre-employment screening process. Eliminating this step would free up time to extend more job offers. However, changing state and city laws might require you to perform these screenings, especially for certain roles. As a result, you may be unable to entirely stop performing your screenings.

Think about whether your company needs to continue to perform pre-employment drug screenings or background checks.

Drug Screenings

Your company may include pre-employment drug screening as part of its workplace safety programs. This might be due to drug screening policies and requirements under the Department of Transportation or other agency regulations, laws, or contractual obligations.

However, the decriminalization of marijuana use in more than 30 states and Washington, D.C., may encourage you to reconsider whether to continue pre-employment drug screening. This might be just for marijuana use or for the use of any illegal drugs.

Some states and cities limit an employer’s ability to conduct pre-employment drug screening for marijuana. However, these laws have exemptions for specific categories of employers or employees. This includes drug screening for safety-sensitive roles or to maintain compliance with a federal or state law, regulation, or order.

Consider the following when reviewing your pre-employment drug screening program:

  • The need for pre-employment drug screening in your company and a specific role
  • The risks of removing the drug screening program
  • The impact of providing random, post-accident, or reasonable suspicion drug screening to reduce the impact of removing pre-employment screening
  • The impact of changes in your pre-employment drug screening on worker’s compensation or other insurance

Background Checks

Your company may conduct criminal background checks to determine whether you should hire an applicant to join your team. However, some states and cities have laws restricting an employer’s ability to perform background checks.

For instance, New York City’s Fair Chance Act (FCA) requires that employers evaluate all non-criminal pre-employment information, such as references, previous work experience, and education, before extending a conditional offer of employment. After this offer is made, the employer may review all criminal history information in compliance with the requirements of the FCA.

Also, many states restrict employers from asking about job applicants’ conviction records. However, government regulations, insurance carriers, or clients may require an employer to conduct pre-employment background checks.

Additionally, background checks are expensive and impact hiring speed. They may contain inaccurate information or information not relevant to the role. However, background checks increase the amount of information an employer can use to make an informed hiring decision. This saves time on money on recruiting, onboarding, training, and turnover.

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