Proposal to Administer Hair Drug Tests to DOT Truck Drivers

Mon, August 24th, 2015 - 3:11 pm - By Gordon Basichis

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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.



China Diploma Mills on the Rise

Mon, August 17th, 2015 - 12:46 pm - By Gordon Basichis

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Once upon a time employers took foreign job applicants at their word, that they had graduated from an accredited university and were educated in the disciplines required for the job.   No more.  First came the realization that many employment candidates were flat out  lying about their degrees and, later, that others were claiming degrees from what is commonly referred to as diploma mills.  Diplomas are bogus or unaccredited schools, usually online fronts where the alleged student obtains a degree for “live experience,” or  some other ridiculous claim of legitimacy.  Small wonder it became necessary to conduct international education verification on all job applicants.

Now diploma mills are on the rise again, in China.  According to AsiaOne…”Some 210 of these schools – with names like Capital University of Finance and Economics and Beijing Foreign Trade Institute – were recently exposed after higher education firm published a list of fake schools on its website.

This is 60 more than the year before.

These pseudo universities, almost half of which are in the capital Beijing, are not authorised by the Education Ministry and issue degrees that are not recognised by many employers. Many also cheat students by having them pay tuition and various fees online and then going silent on them.”

Small wonder education verification has become an essential background check.

Corra Group is Now Issuing the Five Year Motor Vehicle Driving Records for Texas CDL Drivers So They Remain in Compliance with the DOT

Wed, July 22nd, 2015 - 9:31 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Corra Group is assisting its trucking and transportation clients by offering the five year [Motor Vehicle Driving Record for Texas CDL Drivers. The five year MVR will display both medical certification and a more comprehensive list of traffic violations that will assist trucking companies with their employment screening and hiring process.

“To be compliant, it is necessary for all commercial drivers of vehicles in interstate commerce with a maximum gross vehicle weight rating of over 10,000 pounds to obtain and maintain a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate (ME Certificate),” said Corra Group Co-Founder, Nick Gustavson. Since the beginning of 2015, the Medical Examiner’s Certificate is displayed on the MVR for just about every state in the union.

“Texas is unique,” said Gustavson. “The DMV has both a three year and five year driving report. Many truckers used to run just the three year driving record as it would potentially raise fewer red flags by showing fewer traffic violations while still meeting with minimum Department of Transportation mandates. “But the much needed Medical Certificate is not featured in the Texas three year driving record search. It is only on the five year track. To accommodate our clients, Corra Group is moving all of its trucking companies over to the five year track and urging its new clients to do the same.”

For the complete release please click on this link

Fired UP:Even in Legalized and Medical Marijuana States, if You Smoke Pot You Can Still Be Fired From Your Job

Fri, July 17th, 2015 - 8:58 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Some believe in states where marijuana is legalized or where medical marijuana is permitted, they are free from being dismissed from their jobs.   They also believe that with drug tests positive results for marijuana in these permitted states will result in a negative drug test result.  Not the case.  In fact the only states where if you have a license for medical marijuana that will rule it a negative result are Rhode Island, Delaware, Maine,  and Arizona.   With the rest of the states, you test positive, the results on the report remain positive.

With smoking pot in legalized states, you can still be fired.  Doesn’t matter if you smoke on the job or off the job, you can still be subject to dismissal.

The Colorado Supreme Court upheld the firing of a handicapped employee who was smoking off duty for his medical condition.   According to the post by the employment law firm Seyfarth and Shaw, the following determination was made by the court…”In a unanimous decision (one justice did not participate), the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of Coats’ lawsuit.  Although Coats’ use of medical marijuana was lawful under Colorado’s medical marijuana law, marijuana is a “controlled substance” under the federal Controlled Substances Act and its use, even for medicinal purposes, is a federal criminal offense.  As a result, the Court held that Coats’ use of medical marijuana was not “lawful” and he was not protected from termination because of his use of medical marijuana.  The Court also rejected arguments that use of medical marijuana was no longer unlawful because: (a) the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it will not prosecute certain patients who use medical marijuana in accordance with state law; and (b) in December 2014, Congress passed an appropriations bill that prohibits the Department of Justice from using funds appropriated under the act to prevent states with medical marijuana laws (like Colorado) from implementing those laws.”

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