First Advantage Blog

Jun 29

To Test or Not To Test

Drugs – let's face it, we all have our vices. Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol – whether it is a little bit of energy to kick start the day or a real addiction, many people find it difficult to resist the chemical-altering allure of psychoactive substances. And whilst staff having a coffee or cigarette habit is unlikely to cause problems in the workplace, the same is unfortunately not always true for alcohol and other drugs. In one particularly stark example, a teacher in Nottinghamshire, UK has recently been banned from teaching after bringing alcohol into the primary school she was working in and consuming it on the premises, as reported by the Nottingham Post.

Jun 26

Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Subsidies

On March 4, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of King v. Burwell. Today the Court held in a 6 to 3 ruling that the Affordable Care Act subsidies continue to be available nationwide. The plaintiffs in King v. Burwell challenged the legality of tax credits allowed for the purchase of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The argument made is that liberties were taken when the rules under the Affordable Care Act were drafted, and the meaning of who could receive the tax credits was expanded. The language of the law, it was argued, restricts the right to receive subsidies to individuals who qualify as to income and purchase their health insurance from a state exchange as opposed to a federally provided exchange.  

Jun 19

What the UK Immigration Bill Means for HR

Last month, the "Tier 2" (non-EU skilled workers) immigration cap was hit for the first time since its introduction in 2011, blocking the arrival of some nurses, doctors and teachers. The Conservative government's plans to reduce net migration have big implications for employers in the UK, particularly those recruiting candidates from outside the European Union (EU).  In an effort to reduce the country's reliance on migrant labour, employers must advertise jobs within the UK before advertising elsewhere. And whilst some – particularly smaller – businesses may be unaffected by this, for many employers this will introduce delays and unwelcome bureaucracy into the recruitment process, particularly where skills shortages exist within the UK jobs market, such as engineering and medical staff.


Jun 15

Breaking News: Medical Marijuana Decision - Coats v. Dish Network Decision Available June 15, 2015

The long awaited, and employer friendly, Coats v. Dish Network Colorado Supreme Court's Decision was published June 15, 2015. The Colorado Supreme Court held: "...under the plain language of section 24-34-402.5, C.R. S. (2014), Colorado's "lawful activities statute", the term "lawful" refers only to those activities that are lawful under both state and federal law. Therefore, employees who engage in an activity such as medical marijuana use that is permitted by state law but unlawful under federal law are not protected by the statute. We therefor affirm the court of appeals' opinion."
Jun 02

Lessons from Stepping Hill

Victorino Chua was recently sentenced to 35 years in prison for two murders and 31 other serious offences committed whilst working as a nurse at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, Greater Manchester, UK, as reported by the BBC. The case has sparked a charged debate about recruitment and background screening in the UK's National Health Service (NHS), following the discovery of qualification documents which police suspect may have been falsified. From the NHS's unfortunate but not unusual experience, there are lessons for employers in all sectors, particularly when recruiting candidates with international experience.

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