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Can child support arrears be forgiven?

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Can child support arrears be forgiven?

Child support back pay cannot be totally forgiven or waived, but there are a few situations that can help you handle it.

  • Double-check the amount the court states you are in arrears. You can always ask the court to recalculate this amount to make sure it is correct.

  • If your child lived with you for a period that the back pay is referencing, the judge may lessen the child support amount. The court’s judgment will often depend on the amount of time and financial support that was given during the child’s stay.

  • Back pay does accrue interest but, in some cases, you may not have to pay all of it.

  • You can request a manageable payment schedule. While this doesn’t lessen the amount owed, it can make it so that you don’t fall behind, even more, trying to pay your original balance.

  • Reach a settlement with the other guardian. If the debt is just too overwhelming, you may be able to reach a lump-sum settlement with the other guardian.

  • You can also get a private loan to pay the back pay in some states. That said, this should always be a last resort since you will owe the loaned money back in the future with interest as well.

How do I pay child support if I don’t have a job or income?

Paying a required amount of money for child support may seem like an impossible task when you are unemployed, but there are a few methods to help lighten this load until you find your next job.

  • As always, be sure to tell the courts as soon as possible about any changes to your employment status. By doing this, you can request a temporary suspension or reduction of your payments until you are able to find a job again.

  • Apply for unemployment benefits if you are eligible. Child support payments can be deducted from these benefits to keep you from owing money you should have paid earlier (called arrears).

When will I get my tax return for child support?

 You will not get a tax return for child support. At this time, child support payments cannot be claimed on your annual taxes. That said, you might be able to claim your child as a dependent on your taxes, depending on your situation, but this normally requires the custodial parent to sign Form 8332 allowing the deduction to you. Either way, your child support will not be legally subtracted from your taxable income.

How much child support is taken from my unemployment, social security or disability benefits?

If you don’t pay your child support, it is considered an outstanding debt. Your arrears are collectible from unemployment, social security or disability benefits that are considered disposable income. The only social security benefit that is exempt from child support garnishments is SSI.

These benefits can pay both your monthly child support and any past due child support you may owe. If you do owe child support arrears, it can be garnished up to the federal limit of 65% depending on factors such as the amount of arrears owed or if you are supporting another family.

What should I do when child support is not being paid?

Whether you are the guardian parent or a noncustodial parent responsible for paying child support, it is frustrating when child support is not being paid.

If this happens, communication is key. Let the courts know what is going on so legal action can be taken. This may mean the required monthly payment will be readjusted so at least some money will make it to the child.

If your situation seems out of the ordinary or you need some help finding out the right direction to take things before speaking to a lawyer, there is a child support hotline that can provide basic guidance on child support issues. Their number is 888-369-0323.

Also, your state may have a similar hotline set up with that will provide you with more knowledge about your specific state’s laws and regulations.

What happens if I don’t pay child support?

Since child support payments are a court order, the nonpayment of child support puts you in contempt of court. In the worst-case scenario, this offense can land you in jail.

Many times, a judge will choose another form of punishment, such as wage garnishments, license suspension, or seizure of tax returns if it means the child support will be paid. One way to avoid any of these punishments is to keep the court aware of your situation.

If you lose your job, become sick for a long time or can’t keep up with the payments, it’s best to tell the court about your situation as soon as possible. Letting the court know what is happening in your life makes it possible for the child support order to be readjusted.

What happens when you go to jail for child support?

Having to go to jail for unpaid child support isn’t that typical, but it is possible. If a judge chooses jail time as your punishment for unpaid support, a few things can happen. Jail time is possible and well as the seizure of your unpaid support. These seizures can include your tax refund, a property lien or bank account liquidations.

You will continue to increase your child support balance while in jail. As a convicted criminal, you will have a public record showing your conviction.

No one wants any of these circumstances stacked on their plate, which is why it is important to work with the courts to avoid jail time and pay child support on time. That said, if you have been to jail for missing child support, your life is not over – it will just add some challenges that you can overcome.

Is not paying child support a felony?

You can receive a felony charge for not paying child support, but most cases don’t. That said, it’s important to understand this is a possibility.

The charge will depend on your violation record and the amount of child support back pay that is owed. Usually, you will be charged as a misdemeanor, which results in immediate payment of the arrears or additional fines.

If you do not pay your child support frequently though, you might receive a felony charge on your record. If this happens, you could spend time in jail.

How much jail time do you get for non-payment of child support?

Child support jail sentences will make you serve less than six months, but some convictions can be up to two years. These sentences are often attached to repeat offenders who owe large amounts of child support back pay. The time given in the sentence comes from what the judge believes is a decent amount of time for the offender to understand their wrongdoing and thus pay the debt.

Do you have to pay child support in jail?

Yes, child support does continue to accumulate while in jail and often comes with interest. Debt like this can increase quickly. This creates child support back pay that will guarantee garnishments on your wages or even the government withholding your property and assets.

If you are in jail and gaining child support arrears, it is beneficial to work out a payment schedule when you are released. This will let the courts know you are trying to get rid of the debt in a reasonable amount of time.

Does child support affect SNAP benefits?

The child support you receive counts toward your income, according to SNAP. This means that child support payments may change your eligibility for SNAP benefits once it is added to other income you receive.

That is not to say you should not try to get child support if you are afraid your benefits will be affected. If you are worried about this, talk with your SNAP office or a lawyer to find out your best option.

If you are on the other side of the fence and are responsible for paying monthly child support, then your child support order can affect your ability to receive SNAP benefits. If you are behind on your child support payments, you may not get the benefits.

How do child support housing benefit work?

Housing benefits and child support can become tricky since each state has its own rules about both child support and housing benefits. In many states, you can’t collect both housing assistance and child support at the same time.

In many cases, if a guardian parent applies for housing benefits and includes a child in the application, the government will first look to see if there is any child support being paid for the child. If there is not, the state will open a child support case to have the noncustodial parent begin paying the child support owed.

From this point, the housing benefit will either be approved or denied. If approved, some states provide the housing benefits but only pay the child a minimum amount in child support instead of the amount a court may calculate. This amount can vary by state but will most likely be less than the monthly child support allowance the court may order. Many times this happens because the housing benefit amount will be much more than child support assistance.

On the flip side, the noncustodial parent is still responsible for paying their child support order (so it is kept up to date if, and when, the child moves off of housing assistance).

When it comes to housing benefits and child support, there are a lot of options to be weighed such as immediate housing needs. In this instance, it may be best to consult a caseworker or local assistance agency to see what option may be best – especially in a housing emergency.

How do I increase child support benefits?

The economy will always be fluctuating and inflation can play a role in our lives, including on child support. In the lifetime of your child, just as you have seen in your life, the cost of food, clothing, rent, medical care and education will continue to rise. This means your child support should match the current cost of living.

What once may have been enough to support your child’s day-to-day needs now just isn’t enough to cover the current the economy, a move to another area or a change of schools.

This will mean another visit to the courts to have the child support reexamined for an adjustment. This will likely come with some discussion of what the costs are and proof that they have risen. From here it will be up to the judge to determine if and how much the support benefits can be raised.

What happens if I overpay child support?

Overpayment of child support is extremely tricky no matter where you live. There are many factors that can cause your overpayment to be considered a “gift” that you can never get back. When it comes to child support, it is best to tell the court about any changes that have happened that could affect the amount you would be required to pay. These changes can include changes in your employment status, increases or decreases in your salary, marriage or divorce, support of another child, or even changed custody on the supported child.

Any of these examples could drastically affect the payment requirement of your child support. Letting the courts know as soon as possible when one of these changes occurs can help you avoid any overpayments and the headaches that come with trying to get your lost money back.

Child support benefit calculators by state

If you are wondering how much your monthly child support payment may be there are many resources available to help you determine this. By simply searching “child support calculator” and the name of your state, you will find many sites available. Be sure to keep a few things in mind here:

  • These calculators can only estimate your monthly support amount based on the information you provide and your state’s laws. The final amount will be decided by the courts.

  • You will want to use the state your child resides in, as this is the state the child support order will originate, and thus follow that state’s rules of child support.

  • These calculators often only calculate monthly child support, not back pay child support.

  • Not every state has a calculator.

If you are interested in finding out the possible child support garnishments to your paycheck there is a list below with links to each state’s calculators or calculation protocols. Again, these are just estimates and only a judge and determine the final amount to be paid:

Thanks for reading. As an employment agency, we’ve worked with our share of Teammates and their child support, so we know it can be a confusing process. We hope this post has answered some of your questions. If you’re interested in finding a job with us, call your local Ōnin Staffing to get started. 


This article is not intended to serve as legal advice. When considering your child support options, you should seek the advice of legal counsel. 

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The Ōnin Group Acquires Labor Temps and LTI Services

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The Ōnin Group acquired Labor Temps and LTI Services, an Illinois-based staffing service with 13 locations spanning Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois, primarily in the Chicago-area.

The Ōnin Group is a privately-held, Birmingham-based company principally focused on the staffing industry.

The March 13 acquisition greatly expanded Ōnin’s presence and ability to service clients in the Midwest. Already ranked as a Top 50 Largest Staffing Firm in the US by the Staffing Industry Analysts, The Ōnin Group is now one of the largest owner-operated staffing companies in the United States, with its more than 100 offices spanning the southwest, midwest and southeastern states.

Labor Temps and LTI Services share similar cultural and financial philosophies with Ōnin. Both companies have a foundational belief in serving the workforce and their staff members. Likewise, both companies are committed to fiscal responsibility and are proudly debt-free, allowing for more comprehensive service to clients and the employees alike.

“We were determined to find the best option for the future of the organization,” said Phil McMahon, President of Labor Temps and LTI Services. “Ōnin is a partner with a similar DNA and focus that will allow us to position our organization for the next stage of growth and leverage our mutual strengths with clients.”

The Ōnin Group’s exponential growth in the past two decades has been primarily organic. Labor Temps and LTI Services is Ōnin’s largest acquisition by far and Ōnin’s first step into the thriving Chicago market.

“Labor Temps and LTI Services’ reputation, strong client base and desire to grow was a great fit with who we are as a company,” said Hugh Thomas, Managing Partner of The Ōnin Group.

Labor Temps and LTI Services have been a part of the Chicago staffing industry for more than 25 years. The combined companies will exceed $425 million in annual revenue and expand Ōnin’s capacity to serve national customers.

Other Ōnin Group staffing brands include Ōnin Staffing, Excelsior Staffing, A3 Solutions, Focus IT, Workforce Solutions and Ōnin Professional Search. Other ventures include Momentum Capital Funding, Momentum Equipment and Supply and Pleasant Hill Timber.

The Ōnin Group was represented by Maynard Cooper & Gale, LLP. Labor Temps and LTI Services were represented by Taft Stettinius & Hollister, LLP and advised by Bowstring Advisors.

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What Jobs Can 18-Year-Olds Get?

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What Jobs Can 18-Years-Olds Get?

When you are just starting out in the world of work, you’ll want to focus on finding entry-level positions, which require the least amount of experience or skill. Some companies have education requirements, so be sure to check the qualifications on the job ad.

When you are looking at job ads, look for the keywords like “training provided,” “entry-level” or “no experience necessary”.

Everyone has to start somewhere. Fill out some applications, do your best at each interview and soon, you will be earning a paycheck and gaining the skills needed to land a career you can be proud of.

Where should I look for a job?

As you start your journey to find the career you want, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Many industries hire young people without experience for entry-level jobs.

Some places to look for work include hotels, fast-food or other restaurants, factories, warehouses, retail stores, grocers and staffing agencies. Working with a staffing agency after high school can give you an advantage over your peers.

A staffing agency offers opportunities to get started with reputable companies in your area that may offer long-term advancement opportunities. Even if you work several different assignments, you will gain skills which will help you identify the career that is best for you.

Can my volunteer work or school activities help me find a job?

Don’t underestimate your non-work experience. Volunteering or participating in extracurricular activities often provides related skills which can be included in your skill set when applying for a job. If you helped around the house, farm or family business, you could add this experience as well. Just because you didn’t receive a paycheck, doesn’t make your experience less valuable.

What kinds of industries have entry-level positions open for 18-year-olds?

Many industries regularly have entry-level positions available. The options below frequently hire people without any experience required:

  • Retail and customer service jobs
  • Factory and warehouse positions
  • Hotel and other hospitality jobs
  • Restaurants and fast food locations

Can I have a high-paying career without going to college?

Skilled trades positions are well-known for offering great pay for your expertise. Skilled trades positions are jobs that allow you to work with your hands, but require specific training and specialization. Typically, people in skilled trades positions attend a trade school or a community college, earn certification and have an apprenticeship.

Welders, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and CNC machinists are just a few examples of skilled trades professionals.

Because skilled trades positions require special expertise, these jobs offer great salaries. In fact, you can sometimes earn more with a skilled trades job as you can with a four-year degree. Although trade schools do have tuition fees you must pay, they are typically much lower than traditional colleges and scholarships are available for trades programs.

While you will probably have to attend trade school before you can land a great-paying skilled trade job, some companies offer on-the-job training or apprenticeships, which allows you to gain the skills you need to advance your career. If you already have a specialized skill, you may be able to land a job without attending trade school.

Many employers require you to be at least 18 years old to work in their facilities. Some jobs have additional requirements based on the type of skills required.

Are there any jobs that will allow me to continue my education while working?

Scholarships and tuition reimbursement programs are offered by some companies to help workers learn additional skills and advance their careers.

For instance, Ōnin Staffing offers the Endeavor Scholarship, which helps our Teammates pay for professional certifications and tuition for classes of any kind, from traditional college to trade school. When applying for jobs directly, or with a staffing agency like Ōnin Staffing, look for incentives that will help you land a great career in the future.

There are many jobs that can work around your education as well.  These can be night jobs (such as waitressing, delivery driver, nanny, etc.) or even gig work where you create your own schedule (Uber, Grubhub, Fiverr).  These types of jobs will allow you to work and go to school.  It may not be a full-time, 40 hours a week situation but still a paycheck coming in while pursuing your education.

Are there well-paying jobs for 18-year-olds?

Pay rates generally increase with experience and education, but there are also entry-level jobs that pay well. According to First Quarter Finance, some of the best paying jobs for 18-year-olds are:

  • Administrative Assistants (entry-level)
  • Bank Teller
  • Delivery Driver (pizza or packages)
  • Nanny
  • Sales Associate (commissions vary but can be high)
  • Trade Apprenticeship (link blog post here)
  • Wait Staff, depending on the restaurant (tips help make this good money)
  • Web Design (if you have knowledge)

Are there any legitimate online jobs for 18-year-olds?

You are wise to question if a job offer online is legitimate or a scam. Providing your personal information online can be risky. Be sure you verify the company is legitimate first by asking for the name of the person you are speaking with, as well as the business name, address and phone number. Be sure to verify the company’s information online.

If the position still seems too good to be true, look for reviews online and on social media. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau. Always be careful with your personal information online. If a recruiter asks you for personal information, like your credit card information or tells you that you must pay to get a job, you are probably talking to a scam artist.

With that said, some legitimate online businesses will pay you to work from home, including:

  • Instacartis a grocery delivery service where you set your hours.
  • Fiverrallows you to be paid for web design, writing and video production gigs. You can accept or decline job offers as you like.
  • Gigwalk lists short-term job opportunities in your area. The amount the gig pays and other details are listed. All you have to do is accept and complete the gig.
  • Lyft or Uber are ride-sharing companies that allow you to drive others in your car. You can set your hours and the areas you are willing to work in.

These options are great for you to get your feet wet with work since you can work on your own schedule and gain experience for later jobs you may have.  Sometimes they will be short-lived jobs that help you move into your next position but other times they can be lucrative careers that provide you enough income and flexibility to stay in that job.

Be sure to carefully research any job you are considering before deciding to work online. Once you have established the company is a legitimate company, go after your dreams and make that money!

I’m going to be 18 soon, and I need to start working. What kind of jobs should I apply for?

There are many great jobs available. As you begin your career, it’s important to focus on what you want to do and determine how you can gain the skills to get there.

Remember, not all education is obtained in the classroom. You can use your experience in an entry-level job to obtain the skills and experience you need to start your dream career.

For example, if you want to own a home remodeling company, you will need carpentry, design, landscaping and other skills to have the knowledge to start your business. You could start gaining those skills by working with a lawn mowing service, a construction crew or a retail store that specializes in home repairs.

When trying to find your first job, a great place to start is a staffing agency, where short-term and long-term jobs are typically available. A recruiter will work with you to find the best opportunity for you to try working in a specific industry or start your career. It’s a great way to gain the experience you need to advance your career in the future.

If you’re not sure what kind of career you would like, working with a staffing company is also a great way to try different types of jobs to determine what positions you like and what you’re good at.

Identify what you would want to do every day, and think about what skills you will need to do that. Then look for opportunities to learn those skills on the job. You will gain experience and create the foundation to build a successful career on.

Am I allowed to work five days a week if I’m only 18?

As an 18-year-old, you can perform almost any job and work as many hours or days as you want. While there are a few exceptions (for instance, you cannot work as a bartender until you are 21 in many states), most youth labor laws no longer apply to you.   Since you may be entering the world of work for the first time, it may be a good idea to start slow and get used to the responsibilities that come with having a normal work schedule.  Looking for part-time jobs is a great place to start.

I’m 18 and very introverted. What are some job ideas for a shy person like me?

Seeking a first job can be intimidating for anyone, but when you are shy by nature, it can seem overwhelming. Recognize the skills you bring and the value you offer as an employee. What are your unique talents? Be sure to highlight them in your interview.

Consider looking for work in a job field which interests you.

Other jobs which may be a great fit could include stocking, warehouse, production, housekeeping, dishwashing, janitorial or working online.

There are several services that hire for entry-level positions which you can work from home. If you are a creative person, a website like Fiverr could be a great first job for you. Gigwalk and Instacart are websites that let you choose the jobs you want and when you want to work.

Focus on your gifts, what you want to do and the income you would like to make and use that to help guide you to the job you would like.

Working with a staffing agency, like Ōnin Staffing, will allow you to interact with a recruiter who will seek out jobs with multiple employers that would be a good fit for you. With one application and one interview, you can potentially find more than one job you would enjoy.

I found a job I want to apply for, but it requires a resume. I’m 18, and this would be my first job. What should I put on my resume?

Your resume is a reflection of you, your experiences and skills. It is a form of branding yourself, so employers know what sets you apart from other applicants.

Determine if you have any skills you can add to your resume.

Did someone teach you how to repair cars or build small structures? Do you make YouTube videos and edit them? Do you know how to work with wood? Do you volunteer for fundraisers and meet or beat your sales quota? Were you active in any extracurricular activities in high school? Do you speak more than one language, or do you code?

These are all valuable skills. Be sure to list them and your experiences.

Focus on accomplishments, such as awards that relate to the job you are applying for or from which you learned a valuable lesson. Even stating your improvement levels in your sport, with a metric to back it up, will show you know how to set and reach your goals and have follow-through.

Be sure to include a summary statement about yourself, explaining briefly why you are interested in the job and highlighting why you are the best candidate. Not having job experience can be a positive thing; you enter your position without prejudgments or old ways of doing things, which can inhibit learning.  Be sure to let your potential employer know this in an interview.  They may know that you are 18 but they may not be aware of how excited you are to start working or how passionate you are about the potential job. You are a blank canvas, ready to become a masterpiece so let them know (both verbally and through your resume) that you are ready and willing to learn the trade.

I’m 18, and I’d like to work in the healthcare field. What kind of job am I qualified for in a hospital?

If you are interested in a job in the healthcare profession, there are some entry-level jobs which will provide you with experience and – possibly – training. One great place to start is as a health aide either visiting individuals’ homes or in a facility. Some companies even pay for training to get you certified as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

Medical office jobs can also be a way to start in the health services field. As a receptionist, biller or assistant, you will be exposed to the jargon and practices of a medical office. This will give you an opportunity to see if the field is right for you. If it is, some companies offer financial assistance to help you return to school for training in nursing or medical practice.

Finally, another way to enter the medical field without training or prior experience is as an aide. Some group homes, mental health facilities and other agencies have entry-level aide positions. Aides typically take care of the daily needs of patients, including mobility assistance, transporting patients from room to room, or just supervising the welfare of those in the facility.

You can take these early experiences and turn them into a career with further training and education. In the meantime, you will earn a paycheck and gain real experience in a career you want to pursue.

I need a resume, but I’ve never written one before. How do I write one?

A resume should showcase who you are and what you bring to the table as an employee. There are several templates you can use to help you fill in your information, or you can create your own resume following a few simple rules.

  1. Be sure to include your name and contact information at the top. An employer can’t reach you if you do not provide your address, phone number and email address. Be sure to include that information where it can be easily seen. If you have a LinkedIn profile, be sure to include that too.
  1. From here, follow the “F” style, and keep the most important information in the top third of your resume. Left justify everything and make sure the important stuff, like work titles, are leading the description and to the left. Most recruiters read in this pattern, so use that to your advantage.
  1. Do not include an objective statement. Instead, create a summary statement which explains who you are, what experience and skills you have and why you are the right person for the job.
  1. In the next section, list your skills in evenly spaced bullets across the page. Columns of three will look nice, and remember to left justify all of your content. Make sure your resume is only one page long. Recruiters want to be able to glance at your resume quickly to determine what kind of candidate you are.
  1. List any work experience you have. If you have several jobs to list, select the most relevant and list those in detail. Be honest and include any accomplishments or skills you learned on the job. Titles or promotions are important, as well.
  1. After you have listed your work experience, list your education in the next section. This includes your high school diploma and GED. If you are enrolled in a certification program or trade school, list that first.
  1. If you do not have work experience, you can include a section on volunteer experience you may have that provided relevant experience. You can also include activities, clubs or work around the home which would be relevant.
  1. Being truthful and accurate in your resume. Include keywords from the job ad to highlight the skills you offer. For more tips, view our helpful infographic. (Include link or image)

I’m 18, and I don’t have a diploma or work experience, but I need a job. How do I get one?

Trying to start a career or even find a first job can be overwhelming. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get a call back right away; just stay positive and be persistent. The most important thing to do is to start applying. Look online for jobs open in your area, and be sure to read the qualifications.

Don’t forget to consider the experience you may have outside of a job, such as mechanical, household, public speaking or technological. Ultimately, having a great work ethic, a mature attitude and a willingness to learn may be more valuable than any kind of hard skill.

While education is important, many people do not have a diploma and work in jobs that pay well. However, many of these industries require experience gained over time to earn higher pay rates.  You can also let your employer know how close you are to receiving your credentials if they require them.  This can be your graduation date from high school or even the date of your GED exam.  You may not have your diploma now but showing your intention to your potential employer may help them move past the lacking requirement.

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When can companies drug test new hires?

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Can companies drug test new hires?

Yes, companies often drug test new hires. There is no federal law that prevents an employer from making you take a drug screen to get a job. State laws may vary, but marijuana is still federally illegal, so you can be tested in most states, even where medical or recreational weed is legal. If you are thinking about starting a new job, it’s important to know a drug test could be in your near future. That said, not all companies test for drugs.

In-Depth Answer:

Being forced to take a drug screen by the company you currently work for or are interviewing with may seem unfair. However, drug screens aren’t made to keep you from working. Businesses are responsible for their workers, products and property. Drug-use is related to work injuries and other workplace concerns.

Does making me take a drug test to get a job violate my rights?

The federal government and most states allow pre-employment drug screening. If you have heard drug screens are illegal, you may have heard it from a case called Lanier v. City of Woodburn. This case said it is illegal to drug test someone to get a job because of the 4th amendment.

However, this case only applies to public employers in Oregon, not private businesses or in other states. So, if you aren’t applying for work in Oregon, you will still have to take a drug screen.

What states don’t allow drug testing?

Some states, like Alaska, have no restrictions on drug-screening, while others, like California, have very specific guidelines for pre-employment testing. Some states, like Rhode Island, limit how or when a drug test can be given to a prospective employee. It is a good idea to look online for your state law and make sure you are being treated fairly.

Can I be drug tested if marijuana is legal in my state?

In states where weed is legal, drug testing is more complicated. Because marijuana is federally illegal, employers who receive federal money still test for THC during the hiring process.

Although in some states, like Maine, employers are not allowed to test for THC, but it is legal to test most everywhere else. In states, such as Oklahoma, where medical marijuana is legal, employers still test for weed. Even if you have a prescription for THC in Oklahoma, you can still fail a drug test if the test shows you have THC in your system.

In most states, a private business cannot control your use of marijuana except on their property and time.  This means your private employer can set their own rules about drug-use of their employees both on and off the job.  Some companies have a no-tolerance policy meaning you cannot use marijuana on or off the job (you will often see this for companies with high-risk jobs such as electric utilities, truck drivers or medical field associates).  Others, particularly in states where weed is legal, don’t mind if you partake off the clock but you cannot smoke or be high on the job.

In many cases, medical marijuana is prescribed for someone who suffers the effects of a disability. The American Disabilities Act protects people who work and have a qualifying disability. However, marijuana is federally illegal and using medical marijuana is not protected by the ADA.

Most companies can still test for THC and you can lose your job if you fail for now. There are several cases in court around the country which may change the laws.

Legal weed may keep you from taking drug-testing in a few states but laws vary. It is important that you understand your state law and how it applies to you.

Pre-Employment Drug Testing by State (as of 2019)

State Name Drug Test Restrictions No Drug Test Restrictions
Alabama
Alaska***
Arizona**
Arkansas**
California***
Colorado***
Connecticut**
Delaware**
Florida**
Georgia
Hawaii**
Idaho
Illinois**
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana**
Maine***
Maryland
Massachusetts***
Michigan***
Minnesota**
Mississippi
Missouri**
Montana**
Nebraska
Nevada***
New Hampshire**
New Jersey**
New Mexico**
New York**
North Carolina
North Dakota**
Ohio**
Oklahoma**
Oregon***
Pennsylvania**
Rhode Island**
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah**
Vermont***
Virginia  ✔
Washington***
West Virginia**
Wisconsin
Wyoming
*Recreationally Legal Weed
**Medically Legal Weed
***Both Recreational & Medical Legal
***May require notice/offer

Can a company drug test me after I’m hired?

If you are worried about having to take a drug test to get a job, things get more complicated once you have the job. You can be tested after an accident, randomly or for reasonable suspicion.  These tests often come without notice so be sure to read up on your companies on/off the job drug policy – especially if weed is legal in your state.

Are random drug tests illegal?

Random drug tests are legal in some states, like Kentucky, and illegal in others, including Rhode Island and Vermont. Some states, such as Connecticut, require employers to give a reason for making employees take a random drug screen. You could have to take a random drug screening based on where you live and your company’s policy.

What is a reasonable suspicion drug test?

Reasonable Suspicion” is a common practice where employers in many states can make an employee who is acting like they are using drugs take a drug test. To be tested for reasonable suspicion:

  • You are seen at work showing signs of being on drugs.
    1. You are seen at work showing signs of being on drugs.
    2. Slurred speech
    3. Unable to focus
    4. Overly tired
    5. Extremely hyper
    6. Anxious
    7. Stumbling
    8. Abrupt changes in behavior
    9. Hostility
  • You have been seen using drugs at work.

Will I be drug tested after an accident at work?

If you have a  work-related incident that damaged property or injured an employee, a drug screen can be required in many states. If your drug test shows drugs in your system during the accident, you can lose your job.

What if I refuse to take a drug test?

If you refuse to take a drug test, you can be let go. If your company has a written policy that says you can be fired for refusing a drug screen, and asking you to take the test doesn’t violate any other laws, they can end your job.

What happens if my drug test has positive results?

You could be fired if your drug test shows you have drugs in your system. As long as the workplace drug policy is clear and was provided to you while working for the company, you can lose your job. Some companies offer a rehabilitation program as a way to help you both keep your job and break the cycle of addiction.

What will happen during a drug test?

So, what drugs will you be tested for? Employers may test for many different types of drugs, but the employers are most likely to test for these five drugs:

  • THC
  • Opiates
  • Phencyclidine
  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine

You have to do the test at a lab or at the office where you applied. You will fill out a form that will give you some instructions. Someone will tell you how to properly perform the test. If you don’t follow the instructions, you may fail the test.

For most urine tests, you will be asked to leave all personal stuff outside the bathroom, including anything in your pockets. You may be asked to leave the door open, the water turned off or not throw away trash. You may be told not to put on the lid or not to tip the test.

When you are done, the bathroom may be inspected for evidence of tampering. Most tests have strips which show evidence of fake pee. This means your test will be checked to see if it is fake, if something was added or if you used someone else’s urine. Depending on the process, you may find out if you passed before you leave or told later.

If you are given an oral strip test, you will take the test at the desk of your recruiter. You will be given paperwork, instructions and a then a test strip to put in your mouth. After your time is up, you will put the strip into the tester. Again, results may be immediate or you may be contacted later.

Can I get in trouble for faking a drug test?

You may be tempted to fake the drug screen by using synthetic or someone else’s urine. Unfortunately, most companies are wise to this tactic. Drug screen kits now are able to detect synthetic products and can catch borrowed pee, as well.

Fake or synthetic urine is illegal in New Hampshire and Indiana. Currently, eighteen other states are considering similar laws. Purchasing these products could come with its own risks soon around the nation.

You may get lucky by passing the test and landing the job, but how long will your luck hold out? By continuing to use drugs and working while impaired, you put yourself, others and your employer at risk. It’s safer just to be honest.

What happens if I have an accident at work when I’m high?

According to the US Department of Labor, 65% of workplace injuries are a result of drug and alcohol abuse. Employers lose $81 billion dollars yearly because of employee drug use, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc. Using drugs makes it hard for you to do your job safely. If you hurt someone or something at work, you can lose your job.

Up to 40% of workplace deaths are the result of substance abuse. Attempting to work while under the influence puts you and others at risk.

What happens if I cause property damage while high at work?

The business is responsible for keeping not just their employees safe, but also their equipment, materials and product. A workplace injury rarely happens without involving some form of material or equipment. When company assets are damaged, they must be repaired or replaced, which adds to the cost of the accident.

Why does anyone care if I get high outside of work?

You are a part of your team and your attitude affects everyone. Coming to work under the influence of any substance will affect your attitude. Weed may make you feel relaxed, but you may also seem lazy, tired, self-centered or unfocused.

Other drugs, like meth, may cause you to feel joyful and energetic, but you may be perceived as aggressive, hyper, talkative, distracting, abrupt and jittery. Under the influence, you may have arguments or fights which escalate and managers get involved. These situations will affect your reputation and ability to move up in or even keep your job.

Why does anyone care if I miss work?

Injuries are not the only problem you may have to deal with. Many people who abuse drugs but still work are frequently absent or late to work. A binge takes time to recover from, and there are side effects from drugs like getting sick or feeling “off.”

When you miss work, everyone suffers because productivity decreases and projects are delayed. Attendance issues have greater consequences for your reputation or cause you to lose your job.

Whether you have a family at home or you live on your own, your actions affect others. Your absence from work not only decreases your paycheck, but it also increases the work for your team. Shifts may be extended to make up productivity. The overtime can cause parents to be late picking up children or cause friends to break commitments.

Why is getting high such a big deal at work?

Not only does your absence from work cause your team to work late, but coming to work high creates more mistakes on the line, damaged product, and missed deadlines.

Also, at work related to substance abuse. A study found that 80% of employees who used drugs stole from their job site to support their habit. Not only theft from the business but also from fellow employees.

Stealing from your employer or co-workers has legal consequences. If caught, you could be facing fines as well as jail time. If you happen to work in a federal trade zone, for example, you could face fines of up to $250,000 and up to 10 years in prison.

What should I do if I do drugs and need a job?

Employers are responsible for the safety of their workplaces. They drug test to ensure the quality of their work environment. If you feel your rights have been violated, be sure to check your state laws or consult with a lawyer. However, if you are concerned about passing a drug screen, you have choices.

  1. Wait to apply – some substances can be out of your system within three days, others take up to 90 days. Give yourself some time to think about your future and let your body get clean. In a few days, you may be feeling and thinking differently. If using an illegal drug is preventing you from having a better life, is it worth it?
  2. Find help – If you are ready to walk away from your habits, but don’t know where to start, there are many addiction recovery programs. Find local listings forAlcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous, Celebrate Recovery, rehabilitation centers orcounselorswho would be happy to help you on your road to recovery.
  3. Consider another career – Some industries, such as foodservice and many retail stores, do not require drug screensto get a job. Freelancing is another option, whether you are taking photos, writing blogs or offering other creative services.
  4. Start your own business – You can create your destiny and make your own rules bybecoming an entrepreneur. Whether you begin a landscaping business or an Etsy store, you are in charge.
Thoughtful casual man outdoors looking up, outside, outdoors. Autumn day. Space for text

Do Jobs Check for Misdemeanors?

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Can I Get Hired with a Misdemeanor?

A misdemeanor record can make finding a job more difficult because they can show up on your background check. However, employers may choose to overlook a misdemeanor. During your interview, be honest about your past and explain how it has made you a better person. There are plenty of opportunities out there for you. Having a misdemeanor is not the end of the world or your career.

Knowing how to address misdemeanor charges during the application process can be hard, but don’t let yourself get discouraged. We’ve created a list of common questions to help you determine the next step in your job search.

Do misdemeanors show up on a background check?

Yes. Misdemeanors are a lesser crime than a felony. However, misdemeanors remain on your record permanently, meaning a misdemeanor can show up if your employer does a background check on you.

Are misdemeanors bad?

Generally, misdemeanors are considered less serious than felonies, but they are still serious offenses that can carry jail time. Although we all make mistakes, misdemeanors will stay with you permanently.

Some employers may have policies against hiring people convicted of certain crimes, including misdemeanors. Likewise, some employers may not hire employees with specific types of misdemeanors that the employer feels may impact the ability to perform the job duties. For instance, a house cleaning service may not want to hire someone with a theft or trespassing misdemeanor.

Can you get a misdemeanor off your record?

Misdemeanors can be sealed or removed from your record through an expungement. This legal process can vary from state to state, and may only cover specific categories of crimes. Requirements are set by the state and you will need to hire a lawyer to start the expungement process.

What kind of jobs accept misdemeanors?

There are several fields which tend to be less restrictive in background requirements. Of course, these requirements will vary from employer to employer, but in general, the following fields are more accepting of less than perfect backgrounds: skilled trades, automotive technology, renewable energy, culinary arts, office administration, art and design, computer technology and digital/interactive media.

Which misdemeanors prevent employment?

Getting a misdemeanor is not the end of the world. While your misdemeanor may prevent you from working at some companies, there are still many companies that will hire people with a wide variety of convictions.  Ultimately, each employer has different hiring requirements for their company or specific positions.

That said, while misdemeanor convictions are not as serious as felony convictions, misdemeanors can still be reviewed for hiring decisions and may impact your ability to be hired.

In general, violent, theft and drug-related crimes can raise the most concern for employers. The nature of the conviction will be considered with the type of job you will be doing in this process. For example, a crime against a child can prevent you from being hired at a school or daycare, but may not prevent you from working in a factory.

Remember, you may have fewer options, but there are still many companies who will hire you.

Should I discuss my misdemeanor when applying for a job?

If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor, use good judgment about disclosing it to a possible employer. Most states do not require you disclose your misdemeanor convictions, although fields such as law enforcement, caregiving and education require all crimes be disclosed. But remember, your employer can see your convictions if they do a complete background check.

Are misdemeanors considered convictions?

Yes. If you have been to court and either plead guilty or were found guilty of a misdemeanor, you have been convicted. If your guilt has not been established and the case is currently being prosecuted, you have only been charged and have not been convicted yet. Employers can view your convictions in a background check.

Do you have to disclose a misdemeanor on a job application?

Usually, when background information is requested on an application, it clearly requests only felony conviction information. Also, many applications only request information from the past seven to 10 years. Some states restrict certain background information from employers. An expunged or sealed misdemeanor conviction does not have to be put on your application. And remember, many employers do not disqualify a candidate based on misdemeanors.

Do I have to disclose a misdemeanor after seven years?

Most companies will conduct a background check during your hiring process. Federal and state laws determine how far back your records can be reviewed. Federal law does not limit how far back an employer can review your criminal record. However, some states do have limits, but they vary from state-to-state.  When you are applying for a job it may ask you “Have you been convicted of a misdemeanor/felony in the last 7 years?”  If your misdemeanor happened over 7 years ago then  you are free and clear to say “no.”  On the other hand, if the question has a more open timeframe such as “Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor/felony?” then you would need to answer “yes.”  Normally you will be given some additional space to explain the charge and when it occurred.  It is always best to be honest on your application because if you falsify your answer and it comes back on your background check, then you likely won’t be considered for the job.

Do dismissed cases show up on a criminal background check?

If you were not convicted, you generally do not need to disclose the charge. However, if the dismissed case appears on a background check, explain the circumstancesand why the case was dismissed. This is also a good opportunity to discuss what you learned from the situation and why you are not a risky hire.

Do I need a letter explaining a misdemeanor?

Some states limit background check inquiries, but not all. Some states allow for requests of explanation of the crime. Usually, letters explaining a misdemeanor are requested for licenses to be issued, such as real estate, nursing and such. If you have to write a letter explaining your crime, be truthful but don’t provide too much information. Just state the facts for clarity. Be honest, take accountability, do not blame your problems on others or circumstances and explain what you have learned.

Do arrests show up on a background check?

When employers conduct a background check, arrests may show up in the record. In some states, these records can be used in hiring decisions for up to seven years under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) laws. However, some states limit the use of arrest records in hiring decisions. It is best to be honest about your record and address the issue head-on during the interview.

Do pending charges show up on a background check?

Most background check services will provide pending charge information. However, while the FCRA laws allow this information to be considered when hiring, some states limit employers to only using convictions for these decisions. The EEOC also recommends employers consider the nature of the offense, how long ago it occurred, and the nature of the job they are applying for. If the crime was severe, recent or relevant to the type of job you are applying for, the employer may use this information in their decision.

What states have a seven-year limit on background checks?

As of 2018, there are 12 states in the US which limit background checks to a seven-year review. These states are: California, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Washington, Colorado and Texas. States which limit reporting of pending charges to the past seven years are: Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Washington.

How can I find a good job when I have a misdemeanor criminal record?

Be prepared to talk about your past honestly, but be sure to focus on what you have learned in the process and the changes you have made. However, don’t make your past the focus of the interview. Be sure to focus on your skills and talents.

You have value as a potential employee and taking ownership of your actions shows responsibility. Be sure to show off your positive personality and good work ethic as well.

Dress tastefully for the interview, display professionalism and use good manners.  Have a resume that clearly presents your skills and your past work history. Having reliable former bosses as references can help you demonstrate how dependable, trustworthy and reliable you can be. Never forget you have many gifts and can provide a lot of value in the world with hard work and perseverance.

Where do I go for employment with a misdemeanor charge?

Although a misdemeanor is not as serious as a felony, it may still limit your job prospects depending on the nature of the conviction. However, there are many career options which do not require background checks or have fewer background qualifications, which may be a good fit for you. If you’re seeking a career, start by applying for jobs or getting training in technology, food service, automotive repair or design. Requirements may vary by position, however, these industries tend to be more open to applicants due to high demand. Working with a staffing agency will give you access to multiple jobs in several industries. The agency will review your background and offer you placements which meet your skills and qualifications, saving you time and frustration in applying for multiple jobs individually and waiting on responses.

Can I get fired from my current job if I am convicted of a misdemeanor?

An employer’s ability to fire you for convictions while you are working for their company varies from state to state. If you work as an “at-will” employee, you can be fired without notice and a reason does not have to be supplied. However, some states have laws which require cause be shown if you are fired.

If your conviction is the cause, it is the employer’s responsibility to show how your conviction would negatively impact the employer. For example, if you work for a daycare and are convicted of child abuse, this could be cause for you to lose your job, even if the crime was not committed at the daycare. You are not required to disclose pending charges to an employer, however, missing work regularly for appointments with lawyers and court dates may cause your employer to become suspicious. It is always best to be honest and work with your employer as you go through the legal process. Your employer recognizes that you are innocent until proven guilty, and will appreciate your openness.

Will I lose my job if I have to be absent to go to court trials for my misdemeanor?

Each employer sets its own attendance policy. Some employers choose to excuse absences for the court in any capacity. However, employers are only legally required to excuse absences for court when you have been summoned by the court as a witness or for jury duty. If you are to stand trial or are being prosecuted, your absence is not required by law to be excused. It is best to discuss your scheduled absences with your employer to prevent losing your job for attendance issues.

How many years back does an employment background check go?

In most cases, a full background check will review the past seven years. However, some employers may require a review of up to 10 years in the past, based on the salary of the position offered. Some state laws may be more restrictive on the length of allowable time reviewed.  One thing to note is that you can request your background check from your potential employer if you wish to see what comes up on the check.  This will let you know exactly what employers are seeing and if there are any errors.  These errors can be on your specific record or it may be that someone with a similar name has a wrap sheet but the potential employer thinks it’s you.  Don’t be afraid to ask for the report.

You are not defined by your past. With hard work and perseverance, you can succeed. Searching for a job is always stressful, and having a misdemeanor conviction can make the process a little harder. Don’t give up. There’s a job out there for you.

Onin Staffing is ready to help you find a career opportunity that fits you best. If you have additional questions regarding this topic, respond below or visit your nearest Ōnin Staffing office.

on-call-for-work

On-Call for Work: What Should I Do?

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Many factory workers have shifts where they have an on-call status, meaning they must be ready to come into work if they are contacted by their employer. Because there isn’t a guarantee that the person will have to work, there is some debate about what is acceptable and what isn’t when you know that your job involves on-call work.

Employers will usually let on-call workers know the expectations for the shift. Read through the handbook, or determine your employer’s on-call work policy to make sure you’re behaving appropriately. And, yes, we know how boring it is to read through a handbook, but this information is critical, and not knowing it could jeopardize your job security.

In addition to your employer’s rules, we have some helpful, basic tips to keep yourself ready for the call.  We hope these tips can help you be successful at work and maintaining an on-call work-life balance.


Remain sober

Whenever you’re on-call for work, there is a chance you will have to drive to work and operate machinery, so you need to make sure that you are fully sober. Avoid alcohol, and even medications that will make you sleepy or out of sorts.

By remaining sober you can protect yourself and your team from possible workplace accidents.  Even if you don’t feel drunk, any slight impairment can put yourself or your coworkers at risk.  As well, if something does happen and you receive a drug/acohold screen that comes back positive you are likely to lose your job due to the impairment.  While this all seems scary and worst-case scenario, these are things you have to consider when you are on-call and expected to report to work.

One other consideration with remaining sober while on-call is that there is no chance of you being pulled over and charged with a DUI on your drive into work.

Get enough sleep

You don’t want to have to struggle through an entire shift tired. If you know that you have an on-call shift coming up, get rest before it starts. You can even use the time that you are waiting for a call to rest. Just make sure that you aren’t too groggy to go if you are called.

Again, this helps with the safety of yourself and your coworkers.  If you are well rested you are less likely to make a mistake that could hurt someone.  It will also just make your shift easier and more enjoyable if you aren’t constantly trying to keep yourself awake.

If you are overly tired during your on-call shift for whatever reason then it is smart to be prepared with your vice of choice to stay awake.  If this is a particular energy drink, try to keep an extra can in your work locker. If it is hot coffee, make a special stop on the way in for a cup.

Stay close

Some employers will require you to remain within a certain distance of the work site if you are on-call. Comply with this on-call work rule so you can arrive on time if you are called. Even if your employer doesn’t have this requirement, it is still a good idea to remain close so you can report as quickly as possible. Relaxing while watching movies at home, finishing household chores or finding things to do around town are great ideas.

You may want to take a look at the calendar every few months to see what holidays or vacations may line up with your on-call shifts (if your shifts are pre-scheduled).  If you see that the Thanksgiving holiday will fall right in the middle of your on-call shift then you may want to make a plan with your family on how you can stay close to home and still enjoy the holiday with them.

Keep your phone handy

If your employer will contact you on your phone, keep it near you at all times. Some employers use older methods, such as pagers, to call workers in. Regardless of the technology, keep that device handy and make sure that you have a way to contact the person who is making the call. Being easily accessible is necessary when you are on-call.

Some considerations with this are to keep your phone charged, in the same place and the ringer volume turned up.  We live in a world where technology is something we use every day and yet it somehow seems to still be unpredictable.  Our battery is drained out of nowhere, we set our phone down then have to hunt to find it or we accidentally set it to silent and miss all our calls and texts.  While these are all excusable accidents for regular life, your employer may not be so understanding when you are on-call so be sure to have your phone or pager at the ready.

Make plans for children

Some on-call workers have children at home. Make a plan to have someone to take care of your children when you are called in. The same is true for pets and any other living creature that require care while you are at work.

This consideration is important both for your employer and your family – you both have something at stake here.  So make a plan that can happen quickly and easily (such as dropping the kids off at Grandma’s on the drive into work or setting out the auto-feeder bowl for Fido when you leave).

Since there is so much as stake in this catagory you may want to discuss the possibility of a missed call-in with your employer.  If you have no care options for your children or you have no one to stay with your aging parent during an on-call shift then you have no choice but to skip the call-in.  You need to be aware of what can happen if you miss a call-in and your employer may be more forgiving if they understand why. Make sure to discuss this potential situation with them and your options to make up the on-call shift or avoid heavy repercussions.

Have your work clothes ready

Get your uniform or work clothes ready in case you are called in. Don’t forget to lay out your shoes and any safety items. This easy, extra preparation can help you make it there more quickly and feel less stressed while you are getting ready.

You are less likely to forget key work equipment (such as a hard hat or safety glasses) and to dress appropriately if you have planned your outfit out beforehand.  For example, if you got dressed right after getting called in, you may be in too much of a frenzy to remember to grab your jacket and gloves in preparation for a cold night.

One other thing we would like to mention, it is also a good idea to find out the pay policies for these on-call shifts. Having a little incentive to behave appropriately during your on-call shift might make it worth it.  Many companies offer overtime pay or adjusted hourly pay (since most on-call shifts are worked on top of your usual work week). This is exactly what you need and want to know if call-out shifts are optional – then you can volunteer for shifts if you would like the extra cash!

are_you_being_job_scammed-min

Are You Being Job Scammed?

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Job scams come in many forms, but in all their forms, the scammers all focus on taking advantage of you during your hunt for employment. They know many people find themselves in desperate situations if they can’t find work. It’s easy to overlook job scam red flags if you’re in a rush and trying to secure a position. It’s important to know how to identify job scams and to keep an eye out for the warning signs, so you don’t end up in a bad situation.

Before we get into the tips on how to avoid potential job scams the first, most over-arching tips we would like to provide is– Trust Your Gut! If something seems sketchy or under-the-table then take a step back.  Job-hunting is a vulnerable time when people are desperate, excited and a bit overwhelmed so it’s important to stay calm and collected when something seems a bit strange. Don’t be afraid to admit to the potential recruiter or employer that you are hesitant or think the job may be a scam.  Most legitimate companies/jobs can provide you with documentation to help ease your concern and will likely do so in an understanding manner. Scammers, on the other hand, are likely just to get mad at you and threaten you with the loss of a non-existent job. In all of this, trust your gut!


Requests for Sensitive Information

You do have to provide some sensitive information over the course of your job hunt, but this happens later in the application process. If someone calling themselves a recruiter asks for personal information such as your social security number, birthday or tax information, they are trying to steal your identity.

If you encounter someone attempting to do this, contact the company they claim to represent, as well as the police, so you can help prevent them from causing harm to yourself and others. If the scammer is using a social media platform, like Facebook, contact the social media site and report the scammer to make it difficult for this person to continue using that platform to find victims.

Avoids Answering Your Questions

How does the recruiter react when you ask questions about the position? Do they change the subject or give you a non-answer? A recruiter should be doing everything they can to sell you on the job, so avoiding questions is a key sign they are a scammer. This is “How to spot a job scam 101.” You also want to pay attention to how quickly they provide this information, especially if you ask a question that’s out of the box. A fake recruiter may be prepared with generic answers to common questions, but they have to come up with unconventional responses on the spot.  A legitimate recruiter might not know every last answer to the questions you ask, but they will normally offer to find out and call you back. Try to think of questions only a true recruiter or hiring agent would know. This is easier if the job is a specialized trade such as welding or forklift operation. A hiring manager for a welding position should know exactly what welding codes will be necessary for the job and a recruiter for a forklift position should be able to tell you what type of forklift vehicle (stand-up, sit-down, cherry-picker) will be driven.

Doesn’t Provide Job Details

A real placement firm provides you with complete job details in writing. You should know exactly what type of position you’re applying for, the rate of pay, the length of the contract, the company you’ll be working for and other essential details.

While the recruiter or staffing firm acts as the intermediary between you and the company, that doesn’t mean they lack information about the position. The only area that a legitimate recruiter may lack is technical knowledge if the position is intended for highly-specialized IT personnel. However, the recruiter has a general understanding of the duties, pay and workload in that situation.

Again, here you can try to think about questions that a legitimate agent would know but a scammer may stumble on.  For example, a recruiter can probably lay out the full medical benefits plan for you or describe different company policies such as uniforms, technology usage or parking.  A job scammer may give short answers, no answers or change the subject altogether.

Requests Payment

Don’t pay money to anyone for a job. One of the biggest job scam warning signs is when the company you are supposed to be working for asks you to pay them.  People trying to get payment and claiming it’s for credit or background checks, recruitment fees, equipment or supplies are not legitimate recruiters. It’s unlikely that there’s a real job involved at all. Typically, you won’t hear back from the scammers after they get their hands on your money.

Think of it this way. You’re looking for work or connecting with recruiters because you want to make money. Why would you have to make a payment when you’re trying to bring in an income? The recruiter might promise exclusive opportunities or priority applications, but they don’t bring any value to the table.

As well, most (if not all) legal and legitimate companies provide these services (background checks, credit checks, drug tests) for free because they are taking on these costs as part of their hiring procedures.  Other costs such as recruitment fees, uniforms, benefits packages or equipment fees can often be deducted from your paycheck once you have worked and been paid. 

If You Fall for the Scam

If you fell for a job scam you may be asking “How do I report the job scam?”  There are a few places you can report the site, company or advertisement. This can potentially prevent others from falling for the scam.  As well, this may not totally stop the scamming company from operating but make their efforts much more difficult. You can first report the fraudulent job to the site it is posted on by contacting the site’s customer service.  You can also report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission, the Internet Crime Complaint Center and the Better Business Bureau.

Scammers are opportunistic and take advantage of people who are distracted by other matters, such as finding a job. By paying close attention to the recruiters, staffing agencies and other people you interact with during this process, you can avoid wasting time, risking identity theft or losing money.

An Ōnin Staffing recruiter will never ask for sensitive, personal or financial information online. If you are approached by a recruiter online who claims to be with Ōnin Staffing, always call or visit your local Ōnin Staffing branch to confirm the position.