Employer Considerations for Drug Testing, Part 1: Drafting an Employment Drug Screening Policy

Drug screening has become a vital tool to promote a safe working environment and mitigate risk connected to drug-related issues. Countless studies from both the private sector and SAMHSA (DHHS - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)   have shown that implementing a drug screening program reduces the over-all costs associated with substance abuse including health care costs, absenteeism and lost productivity.

Unaudited Form I-9s: The Risk in the Shadows

The Immigration Reform and Control Act, enacted in 1986, made it illegal for employers to knowingly hire unauthorized workers. To enforce the law, completing Form I-9s became a requirement for employers.  They were required to inspect documents present by employees that established their employment authorization. The form is to be kept for as long as the employee is employed or may be eliminated only after following purging rules for terminated employees. Form I-9 violations brought with it civil fines or criminal penalties that varied based on the violations.

Myths Surrounding the Nurse Licensure Compact

The rules surrounding the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) and how it applies to the day to day roles of nurse employers and administrators can be quite confusing. Some questions for someone new to a nurse employment role may include the following:

Changes in Indiana Law Related to Access and Use of Criminal History in Employment

Effective July 1, 2012, House Bill 1033 (HB 1033) restricts employers and criminal history providers from inquiring about and obtaining certain criminal history information. As a result, employers should be aware that background reports may not provide a complete picture about an applicant or employee given the law's restrictions.

Does Your Company Have Employment and Salary Verifications Under Control?

Companies have differing policies regarding the amount of information they will disclose when responding to requests for verification/information about their present and former employees. Some only give out objective information such as the employee's position and the dates of employment; while others allow the release of more subjective information, including comments about the employee's behavior, professionalism or their eligibility for rehire.

Do Fair Hiring Practices Mean Something Different to Healthcare Employers?

A nurse with a drug addiction was charged with stealing Propofol from the hospital where she worked. Personally identifiable information was stolen and sold by a hospital employee with access to patient files. At the hospital where he was employed, a patient escort sexually assaulted a patient in his care.

These crimes didn't happen at the same hospital, but these are actual cases where those healthcare employers were then asked 1) what they knew about each employee's criminal history 2) when they knew it and 3) what they chose to do with that information.