As 2013 comes to an end, employers are forced to think about the challenges they will face in 2014. Headlines filled the news this year with information on the Affordable Health Care Act, the ‘Ban the Box’ legislation and medical drug use; all of which concern employers. Come Jan. 1st many of these will take effect causing companies to take a second look at their hiring and screening policies.

‘Ban the Box’

A major issue for hiring managers in 2013 was the ‘Ban the Box’ movement. The movement’s purpose is to stop discrimination in the workplace by removing questions about criminal convictions from employment applications. It began in 2004 and has recently gained popularity since the EEOC made it a “prohibited practice” to use an arrest record to prevent a candidate from getting a job. Minnesota and Target were the first to take a stand on the issue and now over 45 cities and seven states recognize ‘ban the box’. As some states embrace the movement others like Texas are fighting it, what does this mean for employers? Going into 2014, be sure to check your city and state laws and if needed alter your policy to reflect them.

Medical Marijuana

The next challenge is an issue that has no solution as of now. Many companies have a zero tolerance policy concerning drug use, and include drug testing as a contingent of a job offer. So, what do you do if your state legalizes medical use of marijuana and other drugs? There is no answer yet, but as states continue to pass medical marijuana bills, more employers are faced with this question. Right now 20 states and Washington DC allow medical use of drugs, many with strict rules on whom and for what it can be used. Yet most employers have not adjusted their policies. For example an employer in Colorado fired a quadriplegic for legal use of marijuana; the man challenged the company in court, however, the judge ruled with the company since use is still illegal under federal law. As of right now employers are safe to keep their zero tolerance policies but it may cause trouble in the workplace as well as legal fees in 2014.

How we can help?

These challenges give many employers something to think about over the holidays. Active Screening can help ease some troubles with our applicant screening solutions. We use in-house researchers who always re-verify results to give employers the most accurate and timely reports possible. We also have experts in compliance who ensure Active Screening follows all FCRA and EEOC regulations regarding reporting and criminal convictions. To learn more please visit


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