re: the other test

Subject: re: the other test
From: Ken Bowes <KBowes -at- dacg -dot- com>
To: 'TECHWR-L' <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 15:42:53 -0500

Having recently changed careers, and having had to look for work for about
18 months, I can confirm that certainly in Texas a whole lot more companies
are jumping on the drugscreen/criminal background check bandwagon.

Unfortunately, I do understand at least partially why. The liability issue
has a lot to do with it. Companies that are in "dangerous" fields, for
example, chemical plants/refineries now find it necessary to insure against
lawsuits derived from incidents attributed to drug use. This expands to the
contracting companies that work on their sites. Therefore, as was my case,
the engineering company that was contracted to build/revamp the facilities
had to have their employees tested before they were allowed on the client
job site. The result of that was that it was "unfair" that only some
employees were tested, while others were not. Initially, a new drug test
was required every year for all employees. This was revised to a one time
(hire) test with random, company wide testing. The exception was that if
you worked on one of the contract jobs (where you had to visit the client
site) you had to have a current drug test, (within 1 year). Virtually all
the major EPC companies have adopted these same policies.

Criminal background checks were involved in almost half the jobs that I
applied for during my job search. I have been through it before so I was
not surprised. In fact, I am surprised that criminal background checks are
not more common.

The company I am now working for requires a criminal background check but
(as of this writing) not a drug screen.

Ken Bowes
Technical Writer
DA Consulting Group

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