We are continuing to monitor the rapidly evolving situation with the novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19, and its potential impact on service levels. Currently, we are not experiencing any material degradation of service. ESS has enacted contingency plans to limit inconveniences and to help ensure the safety of our employees.
Our Client Care and Account Management teams are available to provide assistance and answer any questions. We value your loyalty and are committed to supporting you and your business in this challenging time.
Last update: 07/15/2020 at 9:13 am Central
System Uptime and Service
We currently are not experiencing any issues with system uptime, integrations, or service ticket resolutions. ESS contingency plans accommodate work-from-home scenarios that, if implemented, may cause a slight increase in service call wait times. You may always reach us at via email or by calling 866-859-0143.
Drug Testing Collection Facilities and Alternatives to In-Person Testing
ESS drug testing collection facilities and most facilities of those of our partners, LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics, will remain open and are currently operating within normal service levels. For additional information on testing procedures for COVID-19, please view the responses from LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics.
Alternative Drug Testing: Should you prefer to conduct drug testing for your candidates without a visit to a facility, we have specimen test kits available that can be shipped via USPS ground or FedEx. We can also establish additional lab accounts to facilitate oral fluid laboratory testing or confirmation testing of instant test devices. We can facilitate this testing even if your company is not currently using ESS drug testing service. Please contact our Account Management Team for more information.
DOT Drug Testing Resources
The Department of Transportation (DOT) issued guidance on compliance with drug and alcohol testing regulations in the wake of COVID-19. Please click here to access the full release.
As a DOT-regulated employer, you must comply with applicable DOT training and testing requirements. However, DOT recognizes that compliance may not be possible in certain areas due to the unavailability of program resources, such as collection sites, Breath Alcohol Technicians (BAT), Medical Review Officers (MRO) and Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP). You should make a reasonable effort to locate the necessary resources. As a best practice at this time, employers should consider mobile collection services for required testing if the fixed-site collection facilities are not available.
Court Closures and Possible Time Delays
We are beginning to receive notice of courts that are closing or which are limiting researcher access. We expect this trend will continue, and for certain jurisdictions, it may negatively impact the completion times for some county criminal searches.
Current Court Closures
Employment and Education Verifications
Due to various closings at schools and colleges we are experiencing delays with many education verifications. Additionally, International verifications in China and Italy have been severely impacted.
The Department of Homeland Security is allowing employers who have temporarily shifted to remote workforces in response to COVID-19 to review work authorization documents remotely to complete Section 2 of their Form I-9s. To utilize this option, employers must provide written documentation of remote onboarding and telework policy for each employee. Please note: Companies with employees physically present at a work location are not eligible for this option and must follow normal procedures. This provision is set to expire July 19, 2020.
Please click here for the statement from DHS on the relaxed requirements, including the steps employers must take to comply with this policy. Also, click here for answers to frequently asked questions.