Most employers are aware there are restrictions on conducting background checks of job applicants, but do they apply to current employees as well?
Attorney Demetrius Pyburn of the law firm of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, warns, “Any time an employer uses an employee’s background information to make an employment decision, they must comply with federal laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that protect employees from discrimination.”
Reasons for checks may include the belief that an employee has been arrested; when an employee may be putting others at risk; to prevent harm to the business from theft or violence; and for insurance reasons, such as acquiring annual drivers licenses for employees who operate company vehicles.
Hiowever,you must apply the same standards to everyone, regardless of their race, national origin, color, sex, religion, disability, genetic information (including family medical history), or age..
In addition, when an employer runs a background check through a company in the business of compiling background information, it must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If you plan to run a credit report, the employer is reuired to comply with the FCRA regardless of whether it is done by the employer or a third party.
Before requesting the background check, the employer must obtain consent from either the prospective or current employee. If an employee signed a consent form for background checks when they were hired, write it so that the consent remains valid unless revoked by the employee. Some states require that consent is obtained every time there is a background check performed.
Best practices dictate that employers should set a policy where every employee is subject to a new background screening annually, Pyburn advises.
Finally, the employer should have a clear policy on what types of findings and records will be grounds for termination.
<h2>WMS Market Is Poised to Grow</h2>
The Warehouse Management System market in the United States will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 14.9% over 2019-2027, rising from $1.15 billion in 2018 to $ 3.95 billion in 2027, according to Market Study Report LLC.
Major factors said to be driving the WMS market include growth of ecommerce and rising acceptance of enhanced cloud- based systems owing to the various benefits they offer.
The researchers add that while the strong presence of Enterprise Resource Planning vendors is impeding WMS market growth, demand for smarter warehouses will overcome the ERP competition.
Connected devices and sensors help manage the right quantity of products, at the right price, time and place. Integration of IoT with WMS will lead to the true development of pull-based supply chains (rather than push-based), the researchers predict.
“The WMS market is fragmented with the presence of several industries and the competitive dynamics in the market is expected to change during the upcoming years,” they point out.
While cloud-based applications will penetrate the market, on-premises-based WMS technology also will continue to maintain its popularity. This is where the entire WMS software and data resides at the customer’s premises. Most warehouse operators prefer to keep the software in-house to address their security concerns, rather than turn over confidential data to an external provider.
The researchers also say that advanced technologies such as self-adapting machine learning, deep learning or natural language processing are expected to transform the way business is conducted, including supply chain management in all of its many forms.
<h2>Trucking Costs Up 7.7% in 2018</h2>
The American Transportation Research Institute released the findings of its 2019 update to its analysis of the operational costs of trucking.
Using detailed financial data provided directly by motor carriers of all sectors and fleet sizes, this “Ops Costs” research annually documents and analyzes trucking costs from 2008 through 2018.
The average marginal cost per mile truckers incurred in 2018 rose 7.7% to $1.82. Costs rose in every cost center except tires, with fuel costs seeing the highest year-over-year growth of 17.7%.
Insurance costs saw the second fastest year-over- year growth at 12%. Responding to the severe driver shortage in 2018, driver wages (7%) and benefits (4.7%,) were 43% of all marginal costs.
ATRI’s newest 2019 Ops Costs report documents the extremely robust economic environment that carriers and drivers experienced in 2018, but these same economic conditions put considerable upward pressure on nearly every line-item cost center experienced by carriers.
Repair and maintenance (R&M) costs, reported at 17.1 cents per mile in 2018, rose 24% since 2012 – a counterintuitive increase given the record sales of new trucks and trailers, ATRI noted
From 2012 to 2018, overall motor carrier operational costs have increased more than 11.6% – exceeding the 10.8% inflation rate for that same time period.
“Savvy carriers will continue to use this cost data as a benchmarking tool, and to better educate our customers on the financial and operating pressures our industry faces,” commented Jerry Sigmon, executive vice president of Cargo Transporters.
<h2>EPA: Clean Diesel Program Works</h2>
Since 2008, 67,300 older diesel engines have been upgraded or replaced due to funding provided by the Diesel Emission Reduction Act, resulting in clean air benefits and fuel savings, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports.
“It’s a rare example of a program that actually works, delivering substantial, tangible benefits to American citizens: fuel savings and cleaner air in all 50 states,” says Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find another environmental program that has enjoyed such bipartisan support or that has been as cost-effective while bringing innovative clean air and public health benefits to communities across the country,” he added.
According to EPA, 472,700 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx), 15,490 tons of particulate matter (PM), and 5.1 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) were reduced – and 454 million gallons of fuel were saved – between 2008 and 2016, due to the replacement or upgrading of older diesel engines with newer, cleaner technologies.
These reductions resulted in $19 billion in public environmental benefits – for only $629 million invested by Congress, EPA observed.
“Most of these benefits have occurred through replacing, repowering or retrofitting older generations of technology with the newest generation of clean diesel power, which virtually eliminates PM and NOx emissions,” said Schaeffer.
EPA estimates that every $1 in public funds appropriated through the DERA program is leveraged with an additional $3 in non-federal funds, including private sector investments that generate between $11 and $30 in benefits to the public, and over $2 in fuel savings.
Schaeffer also stressed that Congress needs to increase program funding for it to live up to its complete potential. “For every $1 in DERA funds available, there are $5 in unfulfilled requests.”