When You Refuse to Hire Smokers

Wed, November 9th, 2011 - 5:10 am - By Gordon Basichis

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I am not a smoker.  So it is with relative objectivity that I say smokers are the pariahs of the twenty first century.   You can’t smoke anywhere.  You can’t smoke in restaurants, office buildings, on sidewalks, and at your friend’s houses.    Even the cities have banned smoking in public places.   Hermosa Beach, California, has banned smoking from the beach areas where presumably ocean breezes would waft the smoke to safer places.

As for the job market, in this economy it’s tough competition out there.   With the shaky economy it’s tough to even find a job opening yet alone secure employment.  Many employers have their pick from the jobless pool.  And many will not hire jobless folk, but prefer recruiting for other employers.

Baylor Health Care just made it tougher for smokers. If you smoke, then, presumably, you are a health risk and risk the health of fellow employees.  Baylor will not hire you.   It’s realistic.  With the ever increasing cost of healthcare, you try to eliminate the risk

According to CBS DFW….”The Baylor Health Care System has decided that if you use tobacco, in any form, you won’t get a job with them.”

People don’t like the idea, but that’s how it goes.  Apparently, an employer must serve certain criterion so they do not discriminate against job applicants.  But the refusal to hire smokers is not on the list.

I would expect other employers, other than Baylor, to make the same call.  Best advice if you want to find a job and save your health in the bargain, put out the cigarette.

New Jersey Court System Closed for Election Day

Tue, November 8th, 2011 - 4:14 am - By Gordon Basichis

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For those conducting county criminal records as background checks for their employment screening programs, please take note that the New Jersey Courts will be closed today, November 8th, for Election Day.   The New Jersey Courts will reopen Wednesday, November 9th and their regular times.

For convenience, here is a list of scheduled closings for the New Jersey Courts….


It is ORDERED that the schedule of legal holidays and court recesses for the trial division of

the Superior Court and for the Tax Court for the court year commencing July 1, 2011, and ending
June 30, 2012, is as follows:
 Friday, July 1, 2011    First Day of 2011-2012 Court Year
 Monday, July 4, 2011    Legal Holiday (Emergent Matters Only)
 Monday, September 5, 2011   Legal Holiday (Emergent Matters Only)
 Monday, October 10, 2011   Legal Holiday (Emergent Matters Only)
 Tuesday, November 8, 2011   Legal Holiday (Emergent Matters Only)
 Friday, November 11, 2011   Legal Holiday (Emergent Matters Only)
 Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday,  Statewide Judicial College
 November 21, 22, and 23, 2011  (Emergent Matters Only)
 Thursday, November 24, 2011  Legal Holiday (Emergent Matters Only)
 Friday, November 25, 2011   Court Recess (Emergent Matters Only)
 Monday, December 26, 2011    Legal Holiday (Emergent Matters Only)
Tuesday, December 27, 2011   Court Recess (Emergent Matters Only)
through Friday, December 30, 2011
 Monday, January 2, 2012   Legal Holiday (Emergent Matters Only)
 Monday, January 16, 2012   Legal Holiday (Emergent Matters Only)
 Monday, February 13, 2012   Legal Holiday (Emergent Matters Only)
 Monday, February 20, 2012   Legal Holiday (Emergent Matters Only)
 Friday, April 6, 2012    Legal Holiday (Emergent Matters Only)
 Monday, May 28, 2012   Legal Holiday (Emergent Matters Only)
 Sunday, July 1, 2012    First Day of 2012-2013 Court Year
              /s/ Stuart Rabner
                 Chief Justice

Discrepancies in Drug Tests for DOT Compliance

Mon, November 7th, 2011 - 5:54 am - By Gordon Basichis

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This was issued by Datia or more formerly The Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association.  For those in the trucking and transportation industry,it is important to remain current with DOT compliance issues. As the Drug Test is one of the major background checks concerning DOT compliance, I encourage all trucking and transportation companies to review this posting.


During a conference call with Department of Transportation (DOT) officials earlier this week, DATIA learned of numerous errors being seen in regards to DOT specimen collections. These errors were brought to our attention due to the large numbers of occurrences being seen. As such, and at the request of the DOT, DATIA would like to bring focus to these errors as well as provide you with best practices that can be used to ensure compliance with applicable DOT regulations. Should you have questions on any of these items, please do not hesitate to contact DATIA.


€              Custody and Control Forms (CCFs) received are illegible. **Collectors

should review all copies of the CCF prior to distributing them to ensure that they are legible. In regards to copies that are to be faxed, if the writing is light then collectors should make a darker copy to be sent via fax.


€              MROs and Employers are reporting that they are not receiving their

respective copies of the CCFs despite multiple requests. Per DOT regulations, collectors must send the CCFs within 24 hours or the next business day and must keep their copies of CCFs for at least 30 days. **A best practice in ensuring that this requirement is met is to maintain a copy of the fax transmittal form with the CCF. Just because you hit ³send² on the fax machine does not mean it went through. Only with a fax transmission receipt (can configure any fax to do this) can delivery be confirmed.


€              Collectors are not marking step 1D in the CCF to indicate the

transportation mode that the collection is for (FAA, FRA, FTA, FMCSA, etc.).

**This is a new step for the CCF and collection sites should be sure to post notices within the collection area reminding collectors to mark this information on the CCF. As with other steps, this automatic inclusion will become second nature with time.


€              The donor initialing of the specimen bottle labels is being done while the

labels are on the CCF contrary to DOT regulations that require the labels be signed on the specimen bottle. **Again, collection sites are encouraged to post reminders to complete this step as required within the collection area.



€              Collectors are not adequately informing donors that leaving the collection

site prior to the completion of the collection process (with the exception of pre-employment tests) is considered a refusal to test. **A best practice to ensure that this is not an issue within your collection facility is to instruct collectors to make a note in the remarks line that states, ³Donor notified that leaving prior to completion of the collection is considered a refusal to test.² This way the notification is documented.

Need a Job? Fight Some Pirates

Fri, November 4th, 2011 - 5:55 am - By Gordon Basichis

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It goes without saying that the Marines are an excellent fighting force.  Be it the United States Marines or the  British Royal Marines, tens of thousands of dollars have gone into training so that these fighting units can be the most formidable in combat.

But then once the Marine is an ex-Marine, there is a question as to what to do with those skill sets.  Can’t really use the the more hardcore elements in the office setting, lest one’s fellow employees look askance at your crawling on your elbows around their desks, blowing up the Coke Machine.

Perhaps there is an answer.  At least for some who would rather put their training to use instead of returning to a dull civilian life.   Fight pirates.  That’s right.  Just when you think pirates and fighting pirates is an anachronism from another century, the opportunity has returned.  According to an article in Bloomberg, Protection Vessels International, Ltd.  will be hiring  and additional 250 former Royal Marines to combat pirates and to protect oil tankers and other ships off the coast of East Africa.

According to the article, “A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, which is the largest owner of vessels that carry manufactured goods, has also announced it will start using armed security on some of its oil and gas tankers. PVI’s guards are paid by the day, and the average cost is $50,000 per voyage.”  So it sounds like there is good money in fighting piracy.  A caution, though.  The British government may soon pass legislation discouraging companies from hiring armed private security, so there is the shot the job can be short lived.  Oh well.

The article reported, “Somali pirates attacked 199 ships and hijacked 12 percent of them, down from 28 percent in 2010, according to the International Maritime Bureau. Pirate attacks globally rose to 352. For its part, PVI said its guards have been attacked 30 times in three-and-a-half years, repelling all attacks without incurring any deaths or injuries. They have found that warning shots are usually sufficient to drive the pirates away.”

So I guess the remaining question is…who gets to keep the parrots and the peg legs?

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