Mon, August 24th, 2015 - 3:11 pm - By Gordon Basichis
As a full service employment screening company for the trucking industry, Corra Group includes DOT mandated drug tests as one of its background checks to meet compliance standards. The new proposal to switch from urine based drug tests to hair based drug tests is most interesting. Hair Drug Tests are more accurate and you can pick up illegal drugs as far back as ninety days.
According to the article in TheHill the new proposal for hair drug tests is meeting with resistance. Nor surprising.
Some of the comments found in the article…”Every day, thousands of hair
tests are performed worldwide within both the private and public sectors,” American Trucking Associations President Bill Graves wrote in a letter to lawmakers on the House and Senate transportation committees on Monday, urging Congress to approve the transition.
“Their reason for using hair testing is laudable … hair testing is an effective tool for identifying drug users due to its long detection window and because it is difficult for donors to beat the test,” Graves continued.
Hair testing involves comparing testing a follicle of hair for signs of drugs within a window that is typically about 90 days long. Traditional urine testing typically only captures drug use within a shorter period of a couple of weeks.
However, “It is widely known that hair specimen can test positive for a drug that its donor was merely exposed to but never actually ingested,” the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department wrote in a letter to similar group of lawmakers on the House Transportation Committee.
“Studies also show that hair testing may have an inherent racial bias, as darker and more porous hair retains drugs at greater rates than lighter hair,” the group continued. “And recently, a federal court of appeals held that Boston police officers subject to hair testing for illegal drugs had proven, ‘beyond reasonable dispute,’ a prima facie case that the testing program caused a disparate impact on the basis of race in violation of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
The fight over hair testing is intensifying, as both sides of the debate are seeking to get a leg up with the lower chamber during recess. The House is expected to work on its own transportation funding package when lawmakers return to Washington in the fall. ”
So begins the controversy concerning hair drug tests versus urine drug tests. Drug testing is a necessary background check, and considering the hazards of the highway, I would think it prudent to conduct the best drug test possible for the DOT.