For more than 15 years, QualityPro has worked tirelessly to show the world how professional our industry is. The standards are set by the industry, for the industry, and take into account all of the rules and regulations placed on businesses to ensure that our standards match the high demands placed on companies by their states, their customers and their own professionalism. As we take bold steps into the future of our program and determine what QualityPro will look like in our coming Version 6, we wanted to provide a heads-up on a number of areas we are watching. The legislative landscape in the HR world is always changing, but companies that are meeting the QualityPro standards will be set up for success. With an eye towards what will be in QualityPro V6, let’s review some of our most prominent legal concerns.
CANNABIS AND THE DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE STANDARD
As we’ve indicated in previous articles, the current patchwork of state-by-state decriminalization and legalization of cannabis has made implementing QualityPro’s drug-free workplace standard trickier than necessary. Although many companies set policy based on requirement of federal government accounts, that is not true for all. With today’s tough hiring market, we want to keep companies legal, safe and able to adapt to their local area.
QualityPro requires that a company seeking accreditation have a written drug-free workplace policy and testing program—to include, at a minimum, pre-employment drug testing as a requirement for all employees who have been offered a position (except where illegal), a drug testing program for current employees and a statement of the consequences of violating the policy once hired. These basic components have not changed.
Safety is at the core of what we do in pest control and keeping employees drug-free in the workplace is important. Alcohol is legal, but employees cannot be intoxicated while at work. This is the precedent marijuana is following as it becomes legalized locally. What we have tried to do in the updated standard is streamline what we are looking for in QualityPro companies to something more philosophically simple. Regardless of laws, an employee cannot be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while at work. In addition to drug testing, QualityPro will be emphasizing the importance of reasonable suspicion training so that supervisors can document and act on observations of someone under the influence. Our framework is intended as just that—a jumping-off point from which a company may choose to further articulate their own expectations for employee behavior (within the reasonable constraints of the law), but which covers the basic requirements for employee behavior and safety that a professional pest management company should be enforcing.
THE HIRING PROCESS AND BEYOND
Another of our favorite topics to keep track of are those questions available to employers on their employment applications and into the interview process. QualityPro requires accredited companies to have a “comprehensive employment application or application process” for all potential employees. We require questions on the employment application to cover certain areas, but as labor regulations change and states (and some specific municipalities) move to update what they permit employers to ask potential employees, our specific requirements are changing to match. In V5 we stopped recommending asking anything about criminal history, leaving that to the criminal background check after the conditional offer letter. V6 follows this trend with salary history and driver history questions. While we agree that driver history is relevant for any employer seeking to fill a position that involves driving, we encourage employers to simply ask if the person holds a valid driver’s license and leave the detail discovery to the required MVR check.
The QualityPro hiring forms such as the template application, model interview questions and reference check form will be updated accordingly. We’ve pretty exhaustively covered the salary history question in previous articles. Companies should be aware of what their particular state and city requirements are on that front. Currently, around 20 states have completely removed salary history questions from the table, and there is no way for an employer to obtain that information short of asking an employee what their salary expectations are for a potential job. Based on the momentum we’ve seen in the past few years, removing the question from our standard makes the most sense.
QualityPro has always been known for its HR toolbox and guidance on employment regulations. In V6, we will be adding a helpful checklist that companies should investigate with a particular eye toward their state and local regulations. For example, in 2022, we know compensation rules, EEOC statements and federal drug-free workplace regulatory requirements are areas we will be guiding companies to look into.
Moving into the next version of QualityPro gives us a chance to review what’s been working for the program and how we’ll need to evolve to continue providing the excellence for accredited companies that we do. Our standards must always reflect the best practices for all professional pest management, and to do so requires discussion, adaptation and attention paid to the changing legal landscape our companies operate in. If you’ve ever considered becoming QualityPro accredited, or if you’re curious to see how our updated standards can help your business move forward, feel free to contact us at [email protected].
QualityPro is administered by the Foundation for Professional Pest Management, an independent organization that has been developing good business practices and standards since 2004. Designed specifically for pest management companies in the U.S. and Canada, we are proud to certify over 500 of the best companies in the pest management industry. QualityPro is endorsed by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). For more information, contact us at [email protected].