About Us
 Information, Tips and News
April 2013
Spring has sprung, and we hope you are getting a chance to get out and enjoy it!
Our spring newsletter includes topics ranging from the legalization of marijuana and its effect on drug testing to managing Last Chance Agreements.  As always, we hope these topics are of interest and will continue to help in your hiring/screening process. 


If you have any questions about changes in the industry, or products and services available, we hope you'll contact us.
Phone: 888-833-5304

Marijuana Leaf   

Legalizing Marijuana - What to do  now?

The legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado (with other states currently considering the same) has forced employers to take a look at their current workplace drug policies. Since marijuana is still federally illegal, employers typically still have the option to maintain a zero tolerance drug free workplace, including the use of marijuana. In states where the drug has been legalized, some employers may choose to treat marijuana like alcohol, only objecting to its use if employees are under the influence at work.


With this new legislation in mind, employers may now be questioning the methods in which they drug test their workforce. Standard Urine and Hair Follicle testing can bring up past marijuana use, and not necessarily the current levels in a person's system. For employers with a more tolerant policy, alternative testing measures might be of interest. Lab-analyzed oral fluid (saliva) testing could be an option to consider, as it maintains a shorter detection window. To better understand the drug testing methods and marijuana detection windows, please see the following information (provided by Quest Diagnostics).


Urine: occasional use (1-3 days); habitual/chronic use; up to 30 days

Hair Follicle: up to 90 days (depending on hair length)

Oral Fluids: less than 24 hours (This data for lab-analyzed oral fluids testing only.)


Deciding on your tolerance level, and knowing the detection windows can help you choose the best screening method to complement your organization and policy.


Please contact us for more information on types of testing.


[email protected]  888-833-5304




Last Chance Agreements

by Kira Barsottti, HR Consultant

Background Checks 



In lieu of terminating an employee for serious violations of company policies, procedures and rules, or for other inappropriate behavior or conduct, a company may provide a last chance agreement (LCA). This agreement will provide the employee a final opportunity to continue their employment. The idea of an LCA is to put an employee on notice that failure to abide by a certain set of employment conditions will result in disciplinary action. And most typically, violation of an LCA will result in termination.

One of the most common reasons for a company to enter into a last chance agreement is when an employee has a substance abuse problem that has resulted in performance issues or violation of one or more policies and the employee decides to seek treatment.

Employers drafting an LCA for an employee due to substance abuse issues should take into consideration the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified employees with disabilities. While the current use of illegal drugs is not a disability, alcoholism and drug addiction can be disabilities under the ADA. Properly drafted, last chance agreements do not violate the ADA. However, employers should not require an employee to sign an LCA simply based upon the employee's status as a recovering addict.

By having an employee sign a last chance agreement, the worker agrees to the following:

  • To enter a rehabilitation program.
  • To allow the company to monitor his or her rehab plan for success.
  • To return to work after successfully completing the rehab program and following the requirements set by his or her rehab counselor or the company's substance abuse policy.
  • To understand that any future misconduct (e.g. a positive drug test) will result in immediate termination.

In addition, a last chance agreement should generally include the following content:

  • A description of the violation or reason for the agreement.
  • Any specific disciplinary measures of the agreement. For instance, "The employee will be suspended from work without pay for five (5) working days."
  • A statement outlining that the employee has received a written disciplinary notice (dated) regarding the violation or reason for the agreement.
  • The company's expectations, an improvement plan and a time period for improvement.
  • A statement explaining that the employee understands the agreement is [his/her] last chance to remain employed at the company, and failure to make improvement or recurrence of inappropriate behavior or conduct within the specified time period as described in the warning period will result in immediate termination.
  • A sentence stating that the employee understands the company is an at-will employer (if applicable), and the employee agrees to comply with all company policies, practices and procedures and understands that the agreement in no way prevents the employer from taking disciplinary action, including termination, for violations.

For more information on last chance agreements, please contact the Resource Center at [email protected].

Online Disclosure and Chain of Custody forms

Did you know  Occuscreen can offer a paperless system for your Disclosure Authorization forms and/or your drug screen  Custody and Control forms? An electronic process can  streamline the onboarding of your applicants, and can reduce the "paper trail" in your screening process.  Ask us about the options detailed below for online forms.


Online Disclosure and Release forms:  Occuscreen's "Quick App" process allows you to email an electronic Disclosure and Release Form (via a secure link) to your applicant for online completion.  Once the form is completed, an email alert is automatically sent so you can submit the order for processing


Online Custody and Control FormsElectronic drug testing forms can be created for employees using Quest or LabCorp collection sites.  The forms can be forwarded to applicant's via email, eliminating the need for hard copies in office.   

Please contact us for questions about these processes, and other options. 


[email protected] or 888-833-5304


Please let us know if there are questions or areas of interest you would like us to address in future newsletters, or if you are interested in partnering
with Occuscreen for employment screening.


Pamela Mack


[email protected]

In This Issue
Legalizing Marijuana and Drug Screening
Last Chance Agreements
Online Forms Available
Update Your Disclosure Form

Disclosure Authorization Form Updates for 2013


In 2010 The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) became the overseeing agency responsible for enforcement of federal consumer protection laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). With this new authority in place, the CFPB has made changes to several notices required by the FCRA, effective January 1, 2013. 


Changes were made to  "A Summary of Rights Under the FCRA" which must be given to  applicants with the Disclosure Authorization Form before screening by a third party vendor. 


(Occuscreen attaches this notice to the sample Disclosure Authorization Form)


If you have not updated your form in 2013, you may want to request a new sample form from Occuscreen, LLC, to make sure you have a current document.


Please email us at [email protected]
for an updated sample disclosure.


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Most of our new business comes from referrals sent by our existing clients. We appreciate it and thank you for trusting us with your colleagues!


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