In today’s day and age, too many employers do not have an effective process or policy for drug screening. There can be multiple reasons for this, but ignorance should never be one of them. Below are some facts and figures related to drug use in the workplace.
• More than 75% of substance abusers are currently employed .
• Of those employed full-time, 8.4% were current illicit drug users, and 8.8% were heavy alcohol users1.
•Substance abusers are unstable workers and may change jobs as many as three times per year .
•Substance abusers have been found to be at least 33% less productive in the workplace .
•Substance abusers were found to be 2.5 times more likely to be absent 8 or more days per year3.
•Compared to drug-free workers, substance abusers were found to cost twice as much in medical and worker comp claims .
To learn more about how to develop an effective drug policy and drug screening process that will help protect your company, contact our offices today.
One of the basic methods of managing risk is testing for employee drug use. Employee drug testing is a vital part of a full and comprehensive background check and improves organizational efficiency and effectiveness. If your company is developing its drug testing program or you are simply reviewing an existing program, here are five ideas to consider.
1. A Drug Testing Policy
Having a written policy and process in place is vital and provides a guideline for the company to follow and builds transparency throughout the organizations. Make sure it follows all state and federal laws and is in compliance to the latest requirements.
2. Randomized Testing
The effect of testing is increased when used both in the pre-employment background check and ongoing screening. Periodic drug tests will deter workers from using drugs and should be administered at random. This testing should be administered as soon as possible from the time of notification to minimize time and opportunity for falsification.
3. Match Testing Methods to the Need of the Business
A wide variety of drug tests are available, each suited for different needs. Organizations should evaluate all types to determine which is best for them. Urine or fluid testing is best for same-day and ongoing monitoring as it provides a detection window of one week, whereas hair testing may be best for initial screening as it provides a detection window of up to 90 days.
4. Customize Tests to the Job
Requirements for testing should vary depending on the job and the industry in which the individual will be working. Positions that involve driving or heavy machinery may require more testing than positions in managerial roles. Healthcare positions in which workers may have access to medications require testing on an ongoing on periodic basis. Customize your testing to meet each individual job and clearly identify which roles require testing and how often in your written policy.
5. Document Testing
Documenting the process is vital and can help protect the organization in the event of legal action or audit. Document everything from notification to the results analysis and work with the HR and Information managers to create a system that catalogs the process.
If you’re developing a new program or simply revisiting your current program, we’d love to talk with you to see how we might assist your organization.
Background checks are quickly becoming standard practice in workplaces and businesses across the nation and across the world.
Gone are the days when a person’s word was their bond and a handshake agreement was all that was necessary. In today’s fast-paced and ever changing world, organizations must continually be on the lookout for new ways to mitigate their risk. A background checks is an effective and easy way to do so and can save a company of any size from a wide range of problems.
Partnering with an established background screening provider is an effective and efficient method for employers to reap the many benefits of background checks, while preserving time and resources.
Some of the benefits of a background check are as follows:
• A tighter safeguarding of organizational assets – the people you hire potentially have access to a wide range of assets, from physical assets to valuable information. Background screening can help to minimize the possibility of theft or corporate espionage. Additionally, you may be required by law to screen for individuals who are on national and international sanction or watch lists.
• Helping promote safety – background screening helps minimize the possibility of violence at your organization by checking for past criminal behavior and better clarifying the history and character of applicants.
• Hiring the best employees or selecting the ideal applicants – background screening helps establish that candidates are qualified for the positions for which they’ve applied and that they have been honest throughout the application process.
• Avoiding long-term costs – recruiting and on-boarding can be expensive processes. By screening your employees, you can help ensure that individuals are properly qualified and can thus reduce turnover.
• Background screening helps protect your organization’s good name – performing background checks means that you are committed to integrity and safety, important values that help underscore your current employees’ faith in your organization.
• Protecting you from negligent hiring/retention litigation – in some countries, employers are at risk if they knew, or should have known, that an employee presented a foreseeable risk of harm. For example, if one of your employees attacked a co-worker, your organization could potentially be held liable if that employee had a known history of such behavior. Performing pre-employment background checks can be of major importance in demonstrating proper due diligence and further safeguarding your organization.
Contact us to see how we might partner with your organization to make sure you have the tools necessary to protect your organization with effective background checks.
Tools for Social Media Monitoring
Last month we laid out the rules for monitoring social media of potential employees. More importantly, you must monitor how others, including employees, post about your business. Do you have disgruntled employees? Or past employees?
Common tools used for social media monitoring includes the following:
Sysomos is one of the powerful tools that are available in the market for social media monitoring. It boasts features like data collection, information processing, data analysis, etc. In data collection, data is collected and filtered for spam or other false positives. During information processing, data is gathered and, through translation and text analytics, it combs the data for insights and intelligence. During data analysis, all of the data is analyzed and categorized according to demographics, sentiment, key influencer, and buzz volume. Output is provided in the form of charts and graphs that provide visual confirmation of social media campaign’s process.
It monitors millions of sources in 42 languages, including social media channels, blogs, forums etc. It provides alerts in real-time via push notifications. Various social media accounts can be connected and we can receive combined alerts from all these outlets. It also removes the false positives and spam and sorts out the important mentions, thus reducing the noise. It generates a snapshot of mentions by source, language and over a selected period of time in PDF and CSV format. This result can be used to compare with the competitors.
Brand Watch employs the power of a web crawler to focus and capture data relevant to a brand or a product. Brand Watch can adapt to a variety of client loads. This web crawler operates in real time and, as soon as it satisfies a particular search query, stores this data to its many servers working in real time. These crawlers collect data from sources such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, discussion forums, news sites, Image sites, corporate sites, etc. This data can then be queried using an SQL-like language developed by Brand Watch to drill down or slice and dice data according to our needs.
Its social media monitoring, analytics, and engagement tools help organizations to identify opportunities and potential crises when they arise, while finding new and innovative ways to enhance customer relationships and better service clients. It offers both unlimited search queries and results that are not usually provided by other products. It costs up to $3,000/month, which is suitable for a national brand or large agency.
This is a tool that uses keywords to identify specific topics of conversation that are specific to particular social communities. It monitors and translates from 27 different languages and its search-based social media monitoring digs deep into the social media chaos to target the most relevant conversations using precise Boolean logic. Its monitoring platform analyzes millions of social media posts from several social media sites. When new social media websites appear on the web, they are also included in the Meltwater databases. Data can also be archived for up to six months for broad coverage of issues.
Social Radar uses big data for social media monitoring and produces output after analyzing the collected data. It finds patterns and performs deep historical analysis using archives spanning more than six years. It creates powerful custom filters based on rich individual profiling data, like an instant massive focus group. It includes variety of reporting options, including custom dashboards, raw data exporting, graphs, and tailored interactive access.
This is a tool that has a distinctive feature that helps you to quickly see the number of new results, velocity change, share of voice, etc. Outputs can be produced using an Excel exporting feature, RSS/XML feeds, or via email alerts. It has an archival feature through which complete resources can be archived for viewing the original article, sharing with co-workers, or bookmarking for follow-up.
It has an easy-to-use dashboard and provides several customizations and real-time insights about a brand or industry. Ubervu can help to understand and engage with audiences, to find influencers, reply to comments on multiple social networks straight from a single dashboard and so on. It is also useful to monitor keywords and brand mentions and be alerted of any real-time spikes in mentions, sentiment, activity, and other important metrics.
Social Media Monitoring
There are many benefits to monitoring what others are saying about your business on social media platforms. There are also many tools that will help you monitor social media, but before you do, please read some of the pitfalls and rules pertaining to monitoring social media.
Benefits of Social Media Monitoring
An employee of a company has been terminated for some reason and this individual, who was working in a client-facing project, now reveals all the secrets related to the client publicly in a Facebook page. This is a serious security issue that affects both the company and its client. In such cases, SMM can help to find the issue, analyze it, and mitigate it by reporting it to the relevant authorities. The samples of abuse can be collected and further legal actions can be carried out.
The key benefits of social media monitoring are listed below.
Monitor Your Online Brand
Monitoring the mentions of brands through various social media channels is beneficial for all businesses. The positive or negative mentions of a company or brand can be collected in real time and used to take relevant action. For example, responding to a positive mention by publicizing it or, in the case of a negative mentioned, by resolving it as fast as possible. By using social media monitoring tools, you are able to manage your brand across a number of different platforms. This allows seeing where people are engaging with your brand most and it will help to distribute your resources appropriately.
Watching Your Industry
Social media monitoring is a great way to stay up to date with the latest industry trends. It allows you to follow the major trends in your industry and keeps you ahead of the game.
Monitor Your Competitors
Social media monitoring tools can also monitor your competitors; this can help you keep your business ahead of them at all times.
Improve Search Engine Optimization
Social media monitoring allows you to detect several commonly used keywords that can then be used to improve search engine optimization. This helps your organization to always show up on top in search engine results.
Customer Service Enhancement
Social media monitoring is a very effective customer service tool because it acts as a direct channel to your customers. You can interact with them quickly and efficiently in real time. Companies can improve their products by analyzing the comments and responses of the product through social media.
SMM can be used to monitor people’s reactions to various marketing techniques by keeping up to date with the latest online marketing trends. Thus, by using SMM, you can choose the best strategy to improve the quality of your service and also find ways to expand it.
To manage Any Crisis That May Arise
By monitoring social media, you can keep up to date with conversations occurring online in real time; this gives you the ability to address false accusations and negative comments quickly or prepare a response to the issue promptly.
Rules and Regulations for monitoring Social Media
IT RULES RELATED TO SOCIAL MEDIA IN INDIA
The Information Technology (Amendment) Act, of 2008 contains several provisions that recognize privacy protection and privacy rights. The sections that recognize the privacy issues and privacy rights are Section 43A, 72A, 69, and 69B.These sections are well drafted when it comes to fraud cases which happen through or by social networking sites. Encroachment on the right of privacy could be in the interest of national security.
- Section 43A of IT ACT 2008
“Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 Section 43A makes a mandatory data protection regime in Indian law. The section obliges corporate bodies who ‘possess, deal or handle’ any ‘sensitive personal data’ to implement and maintain ‘reasonable’ security practices, failing which, they would be liable to compensate those affected and the compensation has no upper limit to be claimed which may even be in excess of 5 crore rupees. Corporate bodies have been defined as any company and include a firm, sole proprietorship or other association of individuals engaged in commercial or professional activities. Thus, government agencies and non-profit organizations are entirely excluded from the ambit of this section.”
- Section 72A of IT ACT 2008
“Section 72A says that a person including an intermediary could be held liable if he discloses “personal information” which had been accessed while providing services under a contract. The liability arises if the disclosure was made with an intention to cause or knowledge that he is likely to cause wrongful loss or wrongful gain to a person.”
- Section 69 and 69B of IT ACT 2008
“Section 69 of the amended Act empowers the state to issue directions for interception, monitoring, decryption of any information through any computer resource. Section 69B empowers the Government the authority to monitor, collect traffic data or information through any computer resource for cyber security. In the interest of national security, sovereignty, public order etc., the Central Government may intercept /monitor any information transmitted through any computer resource also for investigation of any offence.”
IT Acts liable for Social Media Crimes
- Section 66 of IT ACT 2008
“This section is used when the imposter fraudulently and dishonestly with ulterior motive uses the fake profiles to spread spam or viruses or commit data theft. The act is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with a fine which may extend to five lakh rupees or with both.”
- Section 66A of IT ACT 2008
“This section is used when the imposter posts offensive or menacing information on the fake profile concerning the person in whose name the profile is created. Further, the fake profile also misleads the recipient about the origin of the message posted. The offence is punishable with an imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and fine.”
Section 66C of IT ACT 2008
“When the imposter uses the unique identification feature of the real person like his/her photograph and other personal details to create a fake profile, the offence under Section 66C Information Technology Act is attracted which is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and be liable to a fine which may extend to one lakh rupee.”
- Section 66D of IT ACT 2008
“When the imposter personates the real person by means of a fake profile and cheats then the provision of Section 66D Information Technology Act is attracted which is punishable in the same manner as preceding Section 66C.”
IT RULES RELATED TO SOCIAL MEDIA IN USA
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
“Employers who hire outside vendors to investigate either an applicant’s or an employee’s social media activities and content may be required by law to get written consent from those individuals. The information collected from a social media site may constitute a ‘consumer report’ under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). In addition, the FCRA would require employers to provide information to individuals as to how they may dispute the accuracy of the report with the company that furnished the report. This requirement, however, applies only when the employer takes an adverse action based on the report.”
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)
“The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act of 2008 has basic procedures for physical and electronic surveillance and the collection of foreign intelligence information. It also provides strict judicial and congressional oversight of any covert surveillance activities. Under this act, the US Government is authorized to conduct surveillance of Americans’ international communications, including phone calls, emails, and Internet records, exactly what is addressed by the PRISM program. These orders do not need to specify who is being spied on or the reasons for doing so. It is now possible for government agencies to collect information on foreign communications.”
“Section 215 of the Patriot Act, authorizes the existence of special procedures, authorized by the FISA court to force U.S. companies to deliver assets and records of their customers, from the metadata to confidential communications, including e-email, chat, voice and video, videos and photos. It expands the law enforcement power to spy on every US citizen, including permanent residents, without providing explanation, starting the investigation on the exercise of First Amendment rights.”
Other Important acts related to Social Media
- Impermissible discrimination in hiring based on social media research can subject a company to investigation by the EEOC, as well as possible action for alleged violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and many other federal and state statutes.
- Companies whose employees participate in conversations on social media platforms while using company computers may want to monitor their employees’ social media communications. Such monitoring is not without its legal dangers, though, as an employer may then be subject to liability under the Stored Communications Act (part of the larger Electronic Communications Privacy Act), if an employer accesses the content of non-public communications not stored on the company’s own server. In addition, if employees and/or managers engage in unprofessional exchanges online, that can lead to harassment claims against the company.
Social media legal risks may also be present if an employer decides to fire employees based on their Facebook interactions with other employees in the organization. In one incident, where an employee was fired for negative comments about her supervisor posted on a Facebook page shared with other employees, the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) said that employer’s action violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). In the NRLB’s view, the firing interfered with employee rights under the NLRA stipulation relating to union organizing—which allows employees to discuss wages, hours, and working conditions with co-workers and others, while not at work.
- In another case, an employee alleged that a company’s social media policy restrictions on employee communications about the company (on such sites) were a violation of the NLRA. The complaint was resolved for an undisclosed amount, along with an agreement to revise the company’s social media rules.
Are the Rights of Individuals Challenged?
Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas using one’s body and property to anyone who is willing to receive them. In India, freedom of speech has no geographical limitation and it carries with it the right of a citizen to gather information and to exchange thought with others not only within orders but abroad also.
But India has started tracking public views and sentiments on social media platforms to step up its preparedness in handling sensitive issues and protests. For this purpose, the country’s first social media lab has been established by the Mumbai Police, Technical infrastructure and training is provided by NASSCOM and the tool is from SocialAppsHQ.com. Almost all countries are developing such an approach to monitor the public views.
Naturally, this raises questions about the freedom of expression and the rights of Indian citizens. But digging deeper into freedom of speech article give insights that the freedom has been liable to some restrictions in particular cases. Under certain conditions, such as state security, decency and morality, public order, incitement to an offence, etc., this freedom has been restricted and is punishable.
Last year, the law enforcement mechanism had failed to gauge the size and seriousness of public sentiments until things had gone out of control and, in almost all the cases, social media were used as drivers to ramp up support. Thus a real-time monitoring mechanism for social media adds a lot to reduction of these consequences by using social media monitoring mechanisms to analyze sentiment, identify behavioral patterns, influencers and advocates, track increase in chatter, and generate alerts in real-time on social media platforms. So the action of government for setting up a lab for social media monitoring cannot be criticized. After all, the intent of the social media lab is to prevent demonstrations and protests which can not only cripple a city, but the entire country.
Applicant background screening has become a normal practice among companies today, with practically every business incorporating some type of screening service. It’s easy to see that a well-implemented background check can impact your cost-per-hire and lead to a wealthy ROI. The job market is weaker than usual, and this means that many people might not be truthful because of their desperation for employment. A background check will help your business sort through applicants to ensure you make good hires. Listed below are the benefits of background checks.
Higher Quality Candidates
The most obvious benefit of using background checks is that it helps you hire the best candidate possible. It’s difficult to acquire the necessary talent in your organization, and background checks allow you to eliminate some of the struggle with their accurate information. People with something to hide are less likely to apply to a position if they know that the company does background checks. Not only will you find better quality candidates, but background checks will save you time as well.
Education and Job Experience Verification
Background checks verify that the employee attended the educational institutions they listed on their resume and that they obtained their degrees or licenses. They also verify the employee’s past work experience with the companies they claimed they worked for. These checks show that they worked there, how long they worked there, if the employers were satisfied with their work, their salary, and more. People fabricate their educational and work history on applications every day, and a background check can prevent a bad hire.
Criminal/Legal History Verification
Another benefit of background checks is that you can verify if they have any criminal history. Background checks search for criminal convictions and can find information such as sex offender data, driving records, civil lawsuits, etc. This information is absolutely critical when making new hires, as someone with a criminal history can be detrimental to your organization. Hiring employees you can trust is essential to business growth and maintaining a good reputation.