New White Paper: Drug Screening Compliance-Why You Should Care

The legal liability for workplace drug testing lies squarely with the employer. Keeping up with the different and ever-changing laws around workplace drug screening can be a daunting task. Laws change and it is important to keep track of the ones that may affect your program in every state that your company does business. It is essential that employers understand the nuances of the different laws that apply to their workplace.

Over the last 40 years, workplace drug testing laws have grown dramatically, from 12 state laws and approximately 100 court cases to over 600 state laws and regulations and more than 12,000 court and agency decisions that impact our workplace. In 2017 alone, a slew of workplace drug testing compliance changes have been enacted. Do you know all of the federal and state-specific rules that impact your program and the impact they have on your organization? How does a company keep up?

In its continuing effort to keep its clients out of harm’s way, Cisive created this comprehensive White Paper which discusses the ever-changing drug screening compliance minefield and how you can create a legally compliant screening policy for your company. Some of the topics covered include:

  1. Why you should conduct drug screening
  2. Federal, state, ADA, EEOC, OSHA, and medical marijuana legal constraints to be aware of
  3. Lawsuits and fines
  4. How to ensure compliance

To learn more about drug screening compliance in the workplace, click here to download Cisive’s White Paper, Drug Screening Compliance: Why You Should Care

Cisive Named to the 2017 Baker’s Dozen List of Top Background Screening Providers by HRO Today

Cisive is pleased to announce that it has been named by HRO Today to the 2017 Baker’s Dozen rankings of Top Pre-Employment Screening Providers,  the most respected and anticipated annual ranking of its kind in the HR industry.

Cisive’s appointment to the list is based exclusively on direct input from customers in HRO Today’s customer satisfaction survey.  The survey measures providers in three dimensions including breadth of service, size of deal, and quality of service.

Cisive was ranked #1 in the category “Size of Deal”, which recognizes that many of the largest, most prestigious companies in the world have entrusted Cisive to support this critical component in their hiring process.

“We’re very proud to be named to the 2017 Baker’s Dozen list,” explains James Owens, Cisive’s CEO and President. “But we’re most proud of the fact that it was our clients’ input in the survey that ultimately led to our selection. At Cisive, we cater to the complex program needs of large organizations. This requires a unique mix of class-leading technology, coupled with relentless focus on the complex challenges that large organizations face, and a relentless focus on customer service. The fact that our customers acknowledged this is very exciting for us.”

This has been an eventful year for Cisive. In addition to being named on the 2017 Baker’s Dozen List, Cisive has been recognized as a 2017 Top 10 HRMS Solutions Provider by HRTech Outlook Magazine.

For more information on Cisive and its services, contact us at 1-866-557-5984 or visit

About Cisive  

Cisive is a global provider of compliance-driven human capital management and risk management solutions. The company’s core onboarding and pre-employment background screening offering provides clients with a streamlined, high quality and regulatory compliant solution. Comprehensive services include background screening, vendor/contractor screening, executive screening, drug testing, social media searches, fingerprinting and electronic Form I-9/E-Verify solutions.


“Lessons Learned” for a Smooth ATS-Background Screening Integration

An ATS-background screening integration streamlines the initiation of the employment screening process, improves your recruiting and human resource teams’ productivity, accelerates time to hire, and provides a superior candidate experience. It is important that the integration of these two systems runs smoothly and efficiently.

Cisive has worked for many years with the leading ATS providers and our integration team has compiled five “lessons learned” to ensure a smooth ATS-background screening integration. We’re happy to share these tips with you!

1. Know your internal processes

Oftentimes stakeholders involved in the integration process may not have the full picture of what is involved in the recruiting and hiring process. It is important to invite and/or collect feedback from all teams such as recruiters, compliance, HR managers, legal, finance, etc. For instance, workflows may have too many unnecessary or repetitive steps. Applicants have to provide information to your screening provider, as the applicant tracking solution (ATS) does not feed over all of their data.  You want to avoid forcing applicants to re-enter previously provided information. Finance would like to have invoices separated by the cost center, department, or location, but this information is not collected by the ATS or background screening provider without planning.

2. Know your previous and current pain points

Lessons learned are important to a smooth integration. Below are some questions your team should have the answers to before moving forward:

  • Are there common issues that client users have to deal with on daily basis?
  • Have job applicants provided feedback on items that could improve the candidate experience?
  • Are there additional manual steps that users have to jump through to compensate for inefficiencies or gaps in the ATS/HRIS?
  • Do recruiters have access to all information needed in the ATS or do they have to log in and out of multiple systems to fully understand what stage an applicant is currently in?
  • Will additional email notifications help to keep users updated on the progress?
  • Has a single sign-on approach previously been considered?

3. Validation rules

ATSs do not always enforce validation rules for applicants to provide required, accurate data for background screening purposes. Some examples are dates of residence history and proper match of city/state/zip code. Companies should review data that is collected from applicants. Applicants may be asked to provide too little or too much of the data that is not required for background checks. There could be room for improvement; candidate experience with the ATS is part of the overall hiring process. Companies should not lose great talent to their competition just because applicants are discouraged and overwhelmed with the application process. For instance,

  • Do applicants have to provide personally identifiable information (PII)?
  • Are you sure your company is protected from possible discrimination claims if recruiters, HR or hiring managers are exposed to applicants’ PII?
  • Should applicants be asked to provide employment and education history when only criminal record searches on residential addresses are being conducted?
  • Are you requesting salary history while some states are passing legislation barring employers from requesting applicants’ salary history?

Discuss best practices with your ATS and background check providers and continue to invest in improving the candidate experience.

4. Select ATS integration package wisely

ATSs may offer many different solutions and packages. Please consider implementing only what you need; do not be “a kid in a candy store.” Package deals may offer your company features that users will never need but the company will pay for in a form of monthly or annual fees. Over-customization may bring more disadvantages than advantages to your processes. Consider discussing additional features with your background check provider instead.

5. Discuss customer support in post-deployment stages

It is a common practice for ATSs to use consultants from other companies for implementation processes. Some questions you should ask your ATS provider or your consultant/systems integrator before your company signs a contract are:

  • What happens once the ATS integration goes live?
  • Who will support your company’s account?
  • Does the ATS have all of the documentation to be able to assist during post-deployment monitoring or future change management processes or does this documentation remain with the consultant?
  • Do you have a designated representative to your account?

To learn more about how to efficiently integrate your ATS and background screening solutions, read Cisive’s informative white paper, How to Improve Efficiency and Candidate Experience by Integrating Your ATS and Employment Background Screening Solution.

Click here for more information on Cisive’s completely flexible HR technology platform, call 1-866-557-5984 to speak with an onboarding specialist or visit


Department of Transportation Updates Drug Testing Requirements

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) currently requires urine testing for safety-sensitive transportation industry employees subject to drug testing under Part 40. The DOT made the following changes to its drug testing regulations in order to harmonize with certain parts of the revised Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs using Urine:

  1. The addition of testing for four controlled substances, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone, to its drug-testing panel.
  2. The removal of methlenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA) as a confirmatory test analyte from the existing drug-testing panel.
  3. The addition of methlenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an initial test analyte.

These changes take effect on January 1, 2018, and have been put in place to address the nationwide opioid abuse epidemic. According to the DOT, “Adding the four drugs, which are already tested for in many transportation employers’ non-DOT testing programs because of their widespread use and potentially impairing effect, will allow the DOT to detect a broader range of drugs being used illegally. This will enhance the safety of the transportation industries and the public they serve.”

For detailed information, visit:

How Cisive Keeps Your Company DOT Compliant

Cisive and its drug screening partners support DOT-wide regulations that identify how to conduct proper testing and return employees to safety-sensitive duties after a DOT drug and alcohol violation. Employers who must conduct DOT screenings are in certain regulated industries, such as commercial motor carriers, aviation, railroad, public transportation, pipeline, or maritime.

Cisive’s Compliance Team continually tracks and monitors both proposed and enacted changes in Federal and State legislation through our involvement in industry trade groups, including the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). Cisive is one of a select group of background screening companies that has received NAPBS accreditation, adhering to detailed and specific requirements governing business processes and controls both general in nature and specific to the background screening industry.

Cisive has also partnered with Encompass Compliance Corporation, the industry’s most comprehensive provider of workplace drug and alcohol testing compliance services, to provide an electronic solution to meet state specific regulations. By making the required material available in the applicant portal, your drug screening program will remain compliant every step of the way.

For more information on drug screening compliance, contact a Cisive representative at 1-866-557-5984 or click here.

The Business Impact of Integrating Your Applicant Tracking and Background Screening Solutions

If you are a recruiter or human resources professional working for an enterprise or mid-market size organization, you are more than likely using an applicant tracking solution (ATS) to manage several tasks.  These include managing job requisitions, posting open jobs to your career site, distributing them on job boards, social media and your employee referral program, sourcing and nurturing talent, communicating with candidates at key milestones, and reporting key performance indicators (KPIs) to management.

You also should be using an NAPBS-accredited employment background screening solutions provider to safeguard your organization, employees, customers and the public by ensuring that you do not hire or continue to employ an individual who may pose a risk in the position for which they’ve applied. With your employment screening provider, you are collecting data and required forms from candidates per the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), state, local, country-specific, and industry-specific legislation and regulations, validating information provided by candidates, and reviewing completed background check reports and determining whether to initiate the Adverse Action process based upon information that may not meet your hiring criteria. Let’s not forget the relevant Ban-the-Box legislation.

Integration Benefits

While you may have selected best-in-class ATS and background screening providers, if they’re not seamlessly integrated you may be leaving elements of efficiency, security and user experience on the table.  Integrating background screening with your ATS has several benefits, such as:

  • Improving recruiting and HR productivity
  • Increasing accuracy by eliminating duplicate data entry
  • Improving candidate experience
  • Helping to ensure compliance
  • Improving time service
  • Aiding productivity by providing real-time status

Your recruiting and HR team members, as well as your candidates, will appreciate the increased efficiency, security, and compliance gained by integrating your ATS and background screening solution providers.  Your internal teams will become more productive, as time spent toggling between systems to enter data from the ATS to the screening solution will be a thing of the past. So too will separately logging in to your screening solution to check status or view completed reports . Simply view status from the ATS dashboard and via single sign-on click to view completed reports.

Security and data integrity will be dramatically improved by integrating and automating processes, and creating a paperless process. There is also a cost-savings from not printing forms, documents and reports. A best-in-class, NAPBS-accredited background screening provider can protect your organization from compliance violations by ensuring the right, legally-compliant forms and documents are completed and electronically signed at the beginning of the background check process.  And last, you will preserve your organizations exceptional candidate experience, as candidates will enjoy the ease-of-use and transparency of your employment screening process.

Learn More

Click here to read Cisive’s informative white paper containing detailed information on the benefits of integrating your ATS with your background screening solution.


NEW WEBINAR: Workplace Drug & Alcohol Testing Compliance

Thursday, December 7, 2017 @ 1:00 pm EST

2017 brought a slew of workplace drug & alcohol testing compliance changes.

There are now 21 states that have mandatory rules in place for workplace drug & alcohol testing that employers must follow.

Were you able to keep up? Do you know all of the state-specific rules that impact your program?

Join Cisive and Encompass Compliance for a year in review and learn about state law nuances you probably didn’t know about. And, most importantly, how to address these concerns within your workplace policy & procedures!



Don’t miss this informative webinar, the first in a series of Workplace Drug & Alcohol Testing Compliance webinars coming to you in 2018.

Cisive is an NAPBS accredited and nationally recognized provider of compliance driven human capital management and risk management solutions. The company’s pre-employment background screening and integrated onboarding offering provides clients with the highest level of compliance, accuracy, quality, and configurability.

Encompass Compliance Corp. is an on-line research and risk management service that provides customers with state, federal and issue-specific drug and alcohol testing information, policies and procedures and training, which can be utilized for defeating Workers’ Compensation claims involving intoxication.


A Class Action Lawsuit Bonanza: FCRA Lawsuits Increase Almost 60% In One Month

According to a report by WebRecon, from September 1, 2017 to September 30, 2017, 556 consumers filed FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) complaints, 245 of which are class actions (44.1%). That’s a 58.4% increase from August 2017.

Year to date, 3,328 FCRA lawsuits have been filed!

Here’s the good news for Cisive and its clients! With 3,328 FCRA suits filed this year, NOT ONE is against Cisive or any of its clients!! That’s because Cisive works with its clients to establish and enforce strict compliance procedures to eliminate exposure and provides them with the best tools to comply.

Compliance is key!

Noncompliance can be costly for everyone! At Cisive, we ensure accuracy and FCRA compliance through primary source verification and perfecting of criminal records. Our background screening philosophy is always to minimize exposure from disparate impact while reducing negligent hiring risk.

The growing number of FCRA lawsuits listed below is indicative of the current litigious environment and shows that companies need more help than ever to ensure compliance.

January 2017 – 418 filings

February 2017 – 256 filings

March 2017 – 406 filings

April 2017 – 266 filings

May 2017 – 378 filings

June 2017 – 386 filings

July 2017 – 302 filings

August 2017 – 351 filings

September 2017 – 556 filings

For more information on how to keep your company out of harm’s way, read Cisive’s informative white paper, FCRA Required Pre-decision and Adverse Action – Failure to Notify Opens the Door for a Class Action Lawsuit.

Contact a Cisive Specialist today at 1-866-557-5984 or

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Announces It Will Quadruple I-9 Workplace Enforcement

Thomas Homan, the Acting Director of ICE, recently announced that the agency intends to increase the number of workplace enforcements by four to five times the current level. He further said this will include prosecuting more employers that knowingly hire immigrants not legally authorized to work in the United States

Workplace inspections will include auditing of an employer’s Forms I-9 and the arrest and removal of any employees who do not have valid work authorization. In addition, ICE will increase workplace inspections to verify compliance for employees holding nonimmigrant visas in the categories of H-1B, L1, O-1, and R1 status.

What happens if your company is non-compliant?

Fines for non-compliance will be significant for substantive mistakes when completing Form I-9 and for knowingly employing undocumented workers. ICE recently fined a nationwide tree-trimming company a whopping $95 million for hiring undocumented immigrants. Inspections could also end in criminal prosecutions of businesses, managers, owners, and employees who hire undocumented immigrants.

Tips for remaining compliant

It is more important than ever for employers to make sure their I-9 forms and processes are compliant. The laws around I-9 compliance are not new. Employers have known since 1986 that they must verify their employees’ right to work in the United States. To avoid investigation, employers should follow the law by:

  • Implementing a comprehensive, company‐wide I‐9 process that all involved in hiring in your company are aware of, understand, and can follow.
  • Completing Form I-9 for every person hired according to the instructions by USCIS. Don’t forget to use the new Form I-9 recently issued by the Department of Homeland Security;
  • Collecting the acceptable documentation that proves identity and authorization to work; and
  • Keeping accurate and up-to-date records that are readily available for inspection.

Cisive can help!

Tools like E‐Verify can help employers simplify their process, and ultimately ensure their compliance of the laws and avoidance of fines and other penalties. Companies like Cisive offer user‐friendly, automated E‐Verify solutions that capture, store and manage the entire I-9 process.

In our continuing effort to keep our clients out of harm’s way, Cisive has created two informative white papers on I-9 compliance which can be accessed below:

The Impact of I-9 and E-Verify Legislation

What You Need to Know About Electronic I-9 Signature


Another State Bans the Box for Private Employers. How Does a Company Remain Compliant?

On October 14th, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1008 which prohibits most public and private employers with five or more employees from asking applicants about criminal convictions until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

The bill requires employers that run background checks to assess each person’s circumstances individually and examine the nature of the crime, the relationship to the job, amount of time that has passed since the offense, and evidence of rehabilitation. The bill also requires that employers notify applicants about any criminal history in their consumer reports and give the applicant a chance to correct any errors, provide evidence of expungement or present mitigating information.

The Fair Chance bill removes job barriers for applicants in California with criminal histories and gives them a fighting chance at securing employment without their past being used against them.

How can employers remain Ban the Box compliant?

Ban the Box continues to be one of the more complicated issues in employment law as more and more states and municipalities enact laws restricting when an employer can consider criminal conviction history in the hiring process. So far, 29 states and over 150 cities and counties have enacted some type of Fair Chance or Ban the Box law. Some apply only to government sector employers and others include private sector employers. California is the 10th state to ban the box for private employers.

Employers face enough challenges including the compliance stew being created by the myriad ban the box laws. So how does a company ensure compliance? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Adjust your hiring process so that background screening is conducted after a conditional offer is made to the applicant.
  2. Train recruiters and hiring managers to reinforce how to conduct a complete assessment of the individual candidate to make appropriate hiring decisions.
  3. Define a background relevancy matrix by position.
  4. Partner with a background screening company that has these rules built into their platform, the expertise to recognize these laws as they are passed and the flexibility to react quickly in implementing any new rules or forms for employers.

To learn how Cisive keeps your company in compliance and out of harm’s way, contact a Cisive Specialist at 1-866-557-5984 or click here.


Expunged Criminal Records: Is Your CRA Keeping Your Company Out of Harm’s Way?

Expunged criminal records are sealed arrest and conviction records. Many states have enacted laws that allow people to expunge arrests and convictions from their records. Once an arrest or conviction has been expunged, the applicant does not need to disclose it to a potential employer and the record should not show up in a criminal background check. It seems very straightforward, but it isn’t.

The problem for employers is that some Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) have sloppy procedures and use database checks only in reporting criminal records to their clients. Information in these national supplemental databases is stale! Most are updated sporadically, if at all. There is simply no national database that can claim to be “complete and accurate.”

There are employers that feel they are at a disadvantage if they cannot access all criminal records on applicants especially since the incarceration rate in this country is so high. Do employers need to be concerned about not being able to access expunged records on candidates? The answer is no and here is why:

  1. Generally, only lesser offenses, such as petty theft, drug crimes and juvenile offenses, are eligible for expungement; and
  2. Most expungements have conditions and timeframes attached to them.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) addresses the issue of accuracy in consumer reports which includes the reporting of expunged records. Therefore, using expunged records for hiring purposes can cost your company money either in a judgment or in the time it takes to resolve the issue. But the biggest cost to an employer may be the loss of qualified candidates!

So, how do conscientious employers stay out of harm’s way?  The clear path is to never allow a background provider to sell you a standalone “national” database search without verification of results by going to official government repositories.  Managing a background program is managing risk.

Knowing this, Cisive always conducts criminal record searches the right way by using a quintuple verification of criminal records which ensures records are reportable. Many CRAs merely check one county repository when a criminal check is requested by a client. This will never satisfy Cisive’s standards for accuracy. Felony records are maintained in a separate repository in more than 50 percent of the 3,007 counties in the United States. Cisive always conducts a multiple-repository search, including a third level when municipal courts are appropriate. An investigative audit confirms record accuracy, with a review for legal dissemination under state, federal, and international law.

In addition to a multiple-repository search, Cisive also accesses the original source at court repositories. Cisive reviews applicant-identifying information up to five times. Our attention to detail has yielded an impressive 99.9993 percent accuracy rate — adding to the confidence and assurance that you have screened the right candidate and minimizing your exposure to liability.

Although 40 states offer statewide criminal history record checks because their records have been deemed public by acts of legislatures, Cisive can only recommend 15 of them. Our clients rely on our researched experience of approved sources to avoid a deficient repository that may fail to detect a serious criminal history record. That’s another reason why many of our clients have been with us for over 30 years.

In our continuing effort to keep our clients out of harm’s way, Cisive created an informative white paper, Trends & Risks in Performing Criminal Background Checks, which outlines the pitfalls when using commercial databases as a standalone research tool to conduct criminal history inquiries of prospective employees, and provides a series of best practices for employers to consider to avoid potential civil liability when using criminal background checks.

The moral of this story is that it is imperative to partner with a background screening company that conducts criminal background checks the right way. Keep your company out of harm’s way! Contact a Cisive representative today at 1-866-557-5984 or click here.