Can employers drug test in states where marijuana is legal?

Legalization of recreational and medical use of marijuana varies from state to state and this is constantly changing. Since marijuana is still a prohibited Schedule I substance at the federal level, employers can enforce a zero-tolerance standard and still prohibit marijuana use, possession, and impairment in the workplace, on job sites, during working hours or when employees are on call in order to ensure a safe work environment. Some states may be building employee and employer protections into their legislation and PlusOne will amend its processes as laws dictate.

What types of laboratory tests are used for drug screening?

As a standard sample type, we use urine-based drug testing. Initial (immunoassay) and confirmatory (gas chromatography-mass spectrometry [GC-MS] tests) are the methods most commonly utilized once the urine sample is provided. Using a combination of both tests allows a high level of sensitivity and specificity and reduces changes for false positives or false negatives.

The immunoassay is performed first and is often used as a screening method. If the immunoassay is negative, no further action is required, and the results are reported as negative. If the sample is non-negative, an additional confirmatory GC-MS analysis is performed on a separate portion the sample to identify individual drug substances or metabolites and quantify the amount of the substance prior to reporting positive drug test results to employers.

How long does it take to get drug test results?

This will depend on the test required, when the collection appointment is set and the results. Most often tests are scheduled by the donor within a few days of the order submission and results are returned within several days from that time. A negative result is normally returned within 48 hours of collection. If there is any need for additional information, or there is a non-negative result, the donor may be contacted by the Medical Review Officer which takes additional time.

Do you offer drug testing?

Yes, we do. Typically, our Customers choose a 9 panel (Cocaine, Marijuana, Amphetamines, Opiates, Phencyclidine, Methadone, Benzodiazepines, Barbiturates, and Propoxyphene) drug screen, but there are other options available. We have a collection site network of almost 15,000 locations to ensure a secure, efficient and professional chain of custody and processing for any collections.

Is there any need for re-screening after someone has already passed a previous background check?

A background screen is valid for two years and we recommend re-screening afterward. However, we also offer Continuous Criminal Monitoring, which is an ongoing monitoring service that takes a proactive approach in-between screening dates. Depending on the industry, type of positions being screened for, and the role of background checks within the organization, a process for ongoing or periodic screening may be a suitable approach.

Do you only do screening for contractor networks?

No, we can conduct background screening for organizations in nearly every industry. What’s more important is that we always take the time to understand your needs before proposing a solution. Background screens can be quite different from company to company and we want you to know exactly what you are getting so you will have the confidence that the program is working as you expect.

What does a background check consist of?

A background check is the process of investigating an individual’s background based on criteria determined by their employer (prospective or current) or Customer contracted partner. This check may include employment, criminal records, motor vehicle and license record checks. Each organization requesting the background should understand what specific searches are being requested and share that effectively with their applicants.

Is there a national criminal check that can be done in the US?

There are some proprietary databases of criminal histories which collect information on a nationwide basis from many different sources and these are often called a “national criminal database.” These databases contain criminal, arrest, warrant, sex offender and other global watches, sanctions and government listings. These are not considered primary source records and the content of such databases vary across consumer reporting agencies. There is no actual publicly maintained “national” criminal database that covers all jurisdictions. Further, their content is often known to be incomplete or not as up to date as a primary record search. In compliance with the FCRA, we do send notices when information is being reported from such a database and we also verify the information at the primary source before reporting any details to Customers.

What are the differences between state, federal and county searches?

  • County searches are very detailed and specific felony and misdemeanor searches in a courthouse of the county where the applicant currently, or previously, resided. While a national criminal database can be “an inch deep and a mile wide”, a county courthouse search is “a mile deep and an inch wide.”
  • A federal criminal search covers federal crimes that are federally prosecuted and typically not included in either county or statewide criminal checks. This search identifies possible convictions heard in the US District Courts, Bankruptcy Courts and Courts of Appeals, as well as Supreme Court and three National Courts. Federal conviction records are often returned with limited identifiers such as “Name Match Only” so it may be more difficult to match to the applicant when date of birth, address, or SSN are not reported.
  • State repository databases are meant to serve as an aggregation of county-level records within a given state. Unfortunately, these are normally less complete and not all states offer a comprehensive search. By comprehensive, we are looking for all felony and misdemeanor information for at least a seven-year period. The state repositories rely on the various agencies to report information and may not include as much detail as the county level searches as not all courts participate and not all information from participating counties is reported in real-time.