Pre-employement Screening Glossary of Terms

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Pre-employment Screening Glossary


The legal certification of the innocence of a person who has been charged with a crime.


A substance that is not expected to be present in human urine that is identified in the specimen. A substance that is expected to be present in human urine is identified at a concentration so high that it is not consistent with human urine. The physical characteristics of the specimen are outside the normal expected range for human urine. Examples: Nitrates, Chromates, Hydrochloric Acid, Bleach, Agents that affect pH.

Adversary Proceeding

A lawsuit within a bankruptcy case.


A written statement of facts signed and sworn to in front of a notary or other qualified person.

Alcohol Use

The drinking or swallowing of any beverage, liquid mixture, or preparation, including any medication, containing alcohol.


A request by either the defense or the prosecution that a case be removed from a lower court to a higher court in order for a completed trial to be reviewed by the higher court.


The process of resolving a dispute or a grievance outside of the court system by presenting it to an impartial third party or panel for a decision that may or may not be binding.


The formal appearance of an accused person to hear the charges against them in the presence of a judge, and then to enter a plea.


To detain someone in legal custody.


Money or personal recognizance placed as security with the court in order to guarantee that the person who has been arrested will appear in court at the proper time.


Bankruptcy is a legal procedure designed to protect a person who is unable to pay his/her bills. Once a person files a bankruptcy petition, creditors are stopped from continuing to collect on debts until the Court has sorted them out.

Breath Alcohol Technician

A person who instructs and assists employees in the alcohol testing process and operates an evidential breath-testing device.

Change of Venue

The movement of a case from the jurisdiction of one court to that of another court which has the same subject matter jurisdictional authority but is in a different geographical location.

Chapter 13

This is a “reorganization” or “debt adjustment.” bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy allows a person to pay debts, or parts of debts, from current income over a period of up to five years.

Chapter 7

A “straight” or “liquidation” bankruptcy. It allows a person to discharge his/her debts through a liquidation of his/her assets. Some types of debts cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. These include alimony, child support, and certain taxes.

Charge Off

Unpaid balance reported as a loss by credit grantor.


Any notice, ticket, or other official document issued by a police officer for a minor offense containing an order to appear in court at a particular time and place to answer to the charges stated.

Collection Account

Account has been assigned to a collection agency


A person who instructs and assists employees at a collection site, receives and makes an initial inspection of the specimen provided by those employees and initiates and completes the custody and control form (CCF).

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

A motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle
a) Has a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more inclusive of a towed unit, with a gross vehicle weight or more than 10,000 pounds; or
b) Has a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more; or
c) Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or
d) Is of any size and is used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and is required to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials regulations (49 CFR part 172, subpart F).

Community Service

A sentencing alternative in which offenders work without monetary compensation at public or private nonprofit agencies in the community.

Community Supervision

Classification with unrestricted day and night movement and full access to jobs and programs.


A formal written accusation made by a person, usually a prosecutor, and filed in a court alleging that a specific person has committed a specific offense.

Compromise with Creditors

An arrangement between consumer and credit grantor to accept a lesser amount of the original balance as payment. Trade line remains on credit report for 7 years from the date of the initial missed payment that led to the delinquency.

Concurrent Sentence

A sentence that is one of two or more sentences imposed at the same time. After conviction, all or part of each term is served simultaneously. Contrast with consecutive sentence.

Conditional Release

Release in which a correctional system or other criminal justice entity maintains some supervision over the releasee for a specified period of time. Typically, it includes parole, supervised mandatory release, and supervised work furloughs.

Consecutive Sentence

A sentence that is one of two or more sentences imposed at the same time, after conviction. The sentences are served in sequence. Contrast with concurrent sentence.

Consent Decree

A court judgment in which both parties agree to work out the terms of the settlement subject to court approval.

Consortium/Third Party Administrator (C/TPA)

A service agent that provides or coordinates the provision of a variety of drug and alcohol testing services to employers. C/TPAs typically perform administrative tasks concerning the operation of the employers’ drug and alcohol testing programs. This term includes, but is not limited to, groups of employers who join together to administer, as a single entity, the DOT drug and alcohol testing program of its members. C/TPAs are not “employers” for purposes of this part.


The cessation, interruption, or adjournment of a proceeding until a future date.

Controlled Substances

For the purpose of these guidelines, the terms “drugs” and “controlled substances” are interchangeable and have the same meaning. The DOT is testing for the following five controlled substances: marijuana (THC), cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP) and amphetamines (including methamphetamines).


The formal decision of a criminal matter which finds the accused guilty. It is the finding of a judge or jury, on behalf of the state, that a person has, beyond a reasonable doubt, committed the crime that they were accused of.

Credit Bureau

Credit bureaus are private companies that gather and sell consumers credit histories, including bankruptcy and tax lien data, to credit-grantors such as banks or credit-card companies. The 3 major credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.


Any entity that has a monetary claim against the debtor.

Current / was 30

Current account, was 30 days late.

Current / was 30 2x

Current account, was 30 days late twice.

Current / was Coll Acct

Current account, was a collection account.


The person who seeks relief through bankruptcy.


The person or entity charged with having committed an offense.

Deferred Adjudication

To withhold formal judgment pending the outcome of the probation period. If an individual is given deferred adjudication and he or she successfully completes the probation and conditions assigned by the court, the charges are dismissed.

Delinquent / was 90

Account past due, was 90 days past due.

Delinquent 60

Account is past due by 60 days.


Barbiturates “goof balls”, tranquilizers, methaqualone “ludes” and alcohol

Designated Employer Representative (DER)

An employee authorized by the employer to take immediate action(s) to remove employees from safety-sensitive duties or cause employees to be removed from these covered duties and to make required decisions in the testing and evaluation processes. The DER also received test results and other communication for the employer, consistent with the requirements of CFR 49 Part 40. Service agents cannot act as DERs.

Dilute specimen

A specimen with creatinine and specific gravity values that are lower than expected for human urine. The specific gravity is less than 1.003 and the creatinine is less than 20.


The release of a debtor from an obligation to pay, pursuant to a bankruptcy proceeding. A “discharge” indicates the successful completion of a bankruptcy case. Or, in criminal matters, to release a person from confinement or supervision.


The rejection or failure of a petition for bankruptcy. When a bankruptcy case is “dismissed”, it is closed without any debts being discharged. Or, in criminal matters, termination of a criminal action or proceeding by a court.

Dismissal With Prejudice

Termination of a criminal action or proceeding by a court, by which the same cause of action cannot be brought against the defendant again at a later date.

Dismissed with prejudice

The action is over and the plaintiff can not bring the same issue back to the court.

Dismissed without prejudice

The action is over but the plaintiff retains the right to bring the issue back to the court.


1. The final outcome or resolution of a court case or criminal matter. 2. The formal resolution of a case by a court.


A listing of all court actions in a case from its inception to its conclusion.


Any person who operates a CMV and is required to hold a CDL. This includes, but is not limited to,
–Full-time, regularly employed drivers
–Leased drivers
–Independent owner-operator contractors (employed directly or leased)
–Casual, intermittent, or occasional drivers

Drug Screen Panels Defined

5 Panel: Amphetamines, Cocaine, Marijuana, Opiates, PCP
9 Panel: Add the following: Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, Methadone, Propoxyphene


Driving Under the Influence


Driving While Intoxicated or Impaired


Any person who is designated in a DOT agency regulation as subject to drug testing and/or alcohol testing. The term includes individuals currently performing safety sensitive functions designated in DOT agency regulations and applicants for employment subject to pre employment testing. For purposes of drug testing under this part, the term employee has the same meaning as the term “donor” as found on the custody and control form (CCF).


Any person engaged in a business affecting interstate commerce who owns or leases a commercial motor vehicle in connection with that business, or assigns employees to operate it, but such terms does not include the United States, any state, any political subdivision of a State, or an agency established under a compact between States approved by the Congress of the United States.


To seal or purge records of arrest, criminal, or juvenile record information.


The surrender by one jurisdiction to another of a person accused or convicted of an offense committed within the jurisdiction demanding the individual’s return.


The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law enforced by the Federal Trade Commission that is designed to promote accuracy and ensure the privacy of the information used in consumer reports produced by consumer reporting agencies. The FCRA contains specific requirements on the use of consumer reports for purposes of employment.


A criminal offense that is punishable by death or by incarceration in a state or federal prison, generally for one year or more. The determination of which crimes are considered felonies varies from state to state.


The commencement of criminal proceedings by entering a charging document into the official record of a court.


Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration


Credit grantor sold collateral to settle defaulted mortgage


An element of certain offenses, consisting of deceit or intentional misrepresentation with the aim of illegally depriving a person of his or her property or legal rights.


A legal proceeding in which a debtor’s money, in the possession of another (called the garnishee), is applied to the debts of the debtor, such as when an employer garnishes a debtor’s wages.

Government Claim

Claim filed with government on defaulted student loan

Gross Combination Weight Rating

The total value specified by the manufacturer of the vehicle as the loaded weight of two or more vehicles. In the absence of a value specified by the manufacturer, it will be determined by adding the gross vehicle weight rating of the power unit to the total weight of the towed unit and any load thereon.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

The value specified by the manufacturer of the vehicle as the loaded weight of a single vehicle.


The status of being responsible for or chargeable with violation of criminal law or having been adjudged by due process of violation of the law.


Lysergic acid diethylamide “LSD, acid” and phencyclidine “PCP, angel dust”

In Foreclosure

Foreclosure proceeding started.

Included in Bankruptcy

Debit included in or discharged through bankruptcy proceedings.


A formal written accusation made by a grand jury and filed in a court, alleging that a specified person or persons committed a specific offense or offenses.


A violation of a rule or law that is not punishable by incarceration.


A writ requiring a person to refrain from doing a particular thing.

Judgment Lien

A lien binding the real estate of a judgment debtor in favor of the holder of the judgment. The lien attaches the debtor’s real estate.


The territory, subject matter, or person over which lawful authority may be exercised by a court or other justice agency, as determined by statute or constitution.


Any U.S. laboratory certified by HHS under the National Laboratory Certification Program as meeting the minimum standards of Subpart C of the HHS Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing programs; or, in the case of foreign laboratories, a laboratory approved for participation by DOT under this part.


Unlawful taking or attempted taking of property other than a motor vehicle from the possession of another, by stealth, without force, and without deceit, with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of the property.

Legitimate Use

Under medical supervision or for an accepted medical reason


Common terms it is known by include herb, pot, weed, hash, cannibinoids

Medical Review Officer (MRO)

A person who is a licensed physician and who is responsible for receiving and reviewing laboratory results generated by an employer’s drug testing program and evaluating medical explanations for certain drug test results.


A criminal offense, generally minor or petty, that is punishable by small fines or penalties or incarceration in a local jail for a year or less.


Heroin, morphine, opium codeine, meperidine and methadone

Negative Dilute

A specimen that lab has determined to be negative, no illegal substance is found, it is human urine, but the levels fall below normal levels. Drinking lots of fluids prior to voiding can cause this situation.

No Contest

A plea in a court in answer to a charge stated that the defendant will not contest the charge, but neither admits guilt nor claims innocence. It is tantamount to a guilty plea. Same as Nolo Contendere.

Nolle Prosequi

Voluntary dismissal of criminal charges by the state, or a formal decision by the prosecutor not to prosecute any further.

Nolo Contendere

A plea in a court in answer to a charge stated that the defendant will not contest the charge, but neither admits guilt nor claims innocence. It is tantamount to a guilty plea. Same as No Contest.

Now Paying

Subject now paying, was a charge off

On Site Collector

An individual that conducts OHS services by going to the site designated by the client.


Operating (a motor vehicle) While Intoxicated or Impaired.

Paid / was 30

Paid account, was 30 days late.

Paid / was 30 2x

Paid account, was 30 days late twice.

Paid / was Charge Off

Paid account, was a charge off.

Paid / was Coll Acct

Paid account, was a collection account.

Paid / was Foreclosure

Paid account, a foreclosure was started.

Paid / was Repo

Paid account, was a repossession.

Paid for less than full balance

An arrangement between consumer and credit grantor to accept a lesser amount of the original balance as payment. Trade line remains on credit report for 7 years from the date of the initial missed payment that led to the delinquency.


The process of releasing inmates from incarceration before the end of their sentence, on conditions of supervision by a parole office and their maintenance of good behavior. If conditions are violated, the inmate may be reincarcerated.


A person or company who initiates a civil court action.


A defendant’s formal answer in court to charges logged against him or her in an accusatory instrument. The occasion upon which a defendant enters such a plea to an accusatory instrument.

Plea Bargain

An agreement entered into by a prosecutor and a defendant whereby concessions generally are made (such as reduced charges or sentences)in return for a guilty plea.

Presentence Hearing

A proceeding during which the court considers relevant information, such as extenuating circumstances, held for the purpose of determining a sentence for a person convicted of an offense.

Pretrial Intervention

The Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) provides defendants, generally first-time offenders, with opportunities for alternatives to the traditional criminal justice process of ordinary prosecution. If PTI is successfully completed, there is no record of conviction and the defendant avoids the stigma of a criminal record. Any defendant who is charged with an indictable offense may apply.

Punitive Damages

Those damages awarded over and above any compensation for actual damages. The intent is to punish the wrongdoer.


A discharge of a debt or obligation.


Merchandise taken back by credit grantor.


1. A requirement by the court as a condition of a revocable sentence, or earlier in the criminal justice process, that the offender replaces the loss imposed by his or her offenses.
2. Money received from a probationer for payment of damages.

Restraining Order

An order from a court directing one person not to do something, such as make contact with another person. Restraining orders are typically issued in an attempt to ensure the victim’s safety.


The discharge of an obligation by paying a party what is due to him.


The Secretary of Transportation or the Secretary’s designee.


The penalty imposed by a court upon a convicted person; the imposition and entry of sentence upon a conviction.

Sentence withheld

A court decision postponing the execution of a sentence and discharging the defendant conditional upon good behavior.

Service Agent

Any person or entity, other than an employee of the employer, that provided services specified under the regulations to employers and/or employees in connection with DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements.


The practice of temporarily removing an employee from the performance of safety-sensitive functions based only on a report from a laboratory to the medical review officer (MRO) of a confirmed positive test, an adulterated test, or a substituted test, before the MRO has completed verification of the test results.

Status Date

This is the date the account or tradeline reached the status indicated in the Notes column.


Amphetamines “speed,” cocaine, nicotine and caffeine

Substance Abuse Professional

A person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing and aftercare.

Summary Conviction

A finding of guilt by a magistrate or judge, without a jury, of a person accused of a misdemeanor or violation.

Summary Judgment

The decision of a court concerning merits of a lawsuit, where upon review of the facts, it is determined that the party who made the motion for summary judgment is entitled to judgment.


A written order issued by a judicial officer requiring a person accused of a criminal offense to appear n a designated court at a specified time to answer the charge or charges.

Suspended Sentence

A court decision postponing the execution of a sentence and discharging the defendant conditional upon good behavior.

Tax Lien

A lien on real estate in favor of federal, state or local government which may be foreclosed for nonpayment of taxes.


An injury or wrong committed on the person or property of another. A tort is an infringement on the rights of an individual, but not founded on a contract. The most common tort action is a suit for damages sustained in an automobile accident.

Traffic Offenses

A group of offenses usually consisting of those infractions and very minor misdemeanors relating to the operation of self-propelled surface motor vehicles. Violators of these laws may incur fines, loss of license, or imprisonment.

Unconditional Discharge

A sentence where the court is authorized to release the defendant without fine, imprisonment, or probation supervision if the court of the opinion that no proper purpose would be served by imposing any condition on the defendant’s release.


To annul; to set aside; to cancel or rescind; to render an act void, as to vacate an entry of record or a judgment.


A document issued by a court or releasing authority directing the arrest or taking into custody of a person to bring him or her before the court or releasing authority. There are two main types of warrants: arrest warrant and search warrant.

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