Tuesday, May 31 2022
Volunteering gives millions of Americans a sense of purpose each year. By donating our time, we can align ourselves with causes we truly care about.
But not all volunteers are qualified for the position they’re looking to fill, nor all volunteers are doing outreach for the right reasons.
Regardless of whether a position is paid, it’s important that coordinators conduct background checks on their volunteers. This article will outline the value of screening church and summer camp volunteers in San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and Austin.
Background Checks for Church Volunteers
Naturally, church leaders here in Texas want to create a safe space for members. Summer is right around the corner, and with a plethora of Vacation Bible School (VBS) programs available in the coming months, coordinators will want to do their due diligence in screening volunteers.
While protecting children from predators is the most valuable benefit of a comprehensive volunteer screening program, the advantages of conducting background checks don’t end there. They include:
No matter the position, all church volunteers should be vetted before you extend an offer. Some churches like to require members to attend the church for, say, three to six months before serving in a volunteer role. Alternatively, coordinators may ask volunteers to start working as a greeter before interacting with children.
These are solid approaches to onboarding volunteers. And with the right screening program in place, churches here in Texas will be even better-equipped to protect the communities they serve.
Background Checks for Summer Camp Volunteers
Summer camp volunteers work closely with children as well. They help young people learn about themselves, explore new activities, and build lasting friendships.
These volunteers are ultimately responsible for protecting youth—both physically and emotionally. This is why multifaceted background checks are so important. In order to make sure volunteers have a clear criminal history, stellar references, and top qualifications, camps should absolutely rely on a background screening process.
The benefits of pre-screening camp volunteers include:
Background checks are more than helpful in the summer camp space—they’re essential. In 2011, the American Camp Association (ACA) updated its accreditation criteria to include mandatory background screening for all staff and volunteers above the age of 18.
While camp directors might not know where to start, most recognize the value of pre-screening volunteers. And with the right provider by your side, your camp can develop the exact volunteer screening solution it needs to thrive. From biometrics to driving records to criminal checks, Redstar Backgrounds has Texas summer camps covered.
Screen Volunteers in San Antonio, Austin, and Corpus Christi
Interested in building a comprehensive background screening program for your volunteers?
Our expert staff can guide you through every step of the volunteer screening process. Screening generally includes:
Organizations can customize their volunteer screening as needed. Whether you are a church or a summer camp, Redstar Backgrounds will work with you to craft the exact solution you desire—saving you time and money, protecting the people you serve, and reducing turnover as a result.
Wednesday, May 25 2022
In the current labor market, many employers are happy to hire whatever qualified talent they can get. Job hopping has gradually become the norm in the past decade, and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the labor market is arguably more competitive than ever.
Does this mean that employers should forego background screening?
The answer is a hard no. Hiring managers should continue conducting background checks on prospective team members. This includes testing job candidates—and current staff—for drugs.
What About Marijuana?
A key trend employers are seeing is that fewer drug test kits are screening for marijuana. In many cases, businesses’ custom panels no longer include cannabis.
This is a contentious topic. With the increased decriminalization of marijuana throughout the U.S., some companies don’t feel the need to test for cannabis use.
But should they? Many employers—those in states where recreational marijuana is criminalized, and those working in industries or roles where marijuana use is ill-advised—still view screening for cannabis a top priority.
Should Employers Test for Marijuana?
It may seem like everywhere you look in the U.S., cannabis is being legalized. Medicinal marijuana is currently legal in 37 states, and recreational marijuana has been decriminalized in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Additional states are slated to follow suit in 2023, 2024, and beyond.
In 2012, Philadelphia actually joined Nevada and New York City to implement a ban on pre-employment screening for marijuana. While these laws feature exemptions for positions with a special emphasis on physical safety—for instance, those in healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing—these laws set a remarkable precedent.
Yet at the federal level, marijuana is still a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. This makes cannabis illegal under federal law, no matter individual states’ take on the matter. It also means that while some employers feel there’s no longer a need to screen for the substance, current legislation does not give team members free rein to work under the influence.
Our take is that most employers should continue screening their applicants and staff for marijuana. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to drug screening. Creating a custom program is essential.
Why Screen for Marijuana in the Workplace?
If you’re wondering whether to screen your employment base for marijuana, consider the following: Many states where marijuana is now legal have exemptions for safety-sensitive positions. Legally, organizations can still prohibit their teams from working under the influence and from using cannabis on company property. In most cases, employers can still test for marijuana as well.
Now, 16% of global companies are fully remote today. And yes, this adds yet another layer of complexity to the drug screening process. But employers still, generally speaking, have the right to screen their staff. Many company leaders have reasonable concerns involving:
Current trends show that these are just some of the pitfalls of not testing team members and job applicants for marijuana use. The most important thing is for human resources teams to reconsider blanket testing, or testing for all positions unnecessarily in states where recreational marijuana is legal.
Hiring managers have the right to develop specific policies for individual roles where marijuana testing would be relevant—checking with the laws in their jurisdiction to make sure their approach is compliant, ethical, and aligned with the risks involved in the position.
Now, we’re not saying all employers should terminate every team member—or nix every candidate—who tests positive for marijuana. We are simply urging organizational leaders to take this matter seriously. Current trends show that not testing for cannabis puts the company at risk of negligent hiring and retention claims—and no one wants that liability.
Build Your Employee Drug Screening Program Today
Interested in building a comprehensive drug screening program for your workforce and job candidates?
Our team can guide you through every step. No matter your industry, we’ll work with you to craft the exact solution you need—saving you time and money, and reducing turnover and liability as a result.