MANDATORY HAIR TESTING IS COMING - How Soon? Your Guess Is As Good As Mine...

Topic 29363 | Page 1

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Rick S.'s Comment
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Transport Topics News: ATA Meets With OMB to Discuss Hair Sample Testing Rule

Probably one of the more FREQUENT QUESTIONS we get here on TT - is "Which Companies Do Hair Testing?"

Well - pretty soon, we won't have to answer that question any more - IT WILL BE ALL OF THEM.

This was mandated in the FAST Act [Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015] - which shows you how the wheels of government grind EVER SO SLOWLY. 5+ years, and they still haven't figured out how to implement it.

Debates between industry groups. Debates on hair color (and probably texture - in todays "race sensitive world").

At any rate - it appears from articles I've perused, that OMB is getting ready to publish in The Federal Register soon - and after the "mandatory comment period", it will become LAW.

So NO MORE URINE TESTING - ALL HAIR TESTING.

And regardless of the rumblings of "federal legalization of marijuana" (more like the decriminalization, but I digress), and the removal of weed as a Schedule I Narcotic, it will STILL NOT BE LEGAL for people in "safety sensitive positions".

Without getting too far off topic: Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act. One of the KEY FEATURES of the act - is A TAX ON WEED SALES (bet you NEVER SAW THAT COMING). Another feature is assistance in getting "minority businesses" INTO THE WEED BUSINESS. As well as creating a mechanism to EXPUNGE previous weed-related convictions (not necessarily a BAD THING). And it also dedicates TAX DOLLARS for a number of other "pet projects" related to the weed industry (supposedly from $$ derived from the weed tax - but we know congress spends more than they tax on a GOOD DAY).

I've read the ENTIRE BILL:“Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2020”. It contains the usual amount of "woke racial reparations" language. It's a hoot actually.

OK- back ON TOPIC.

I'm making this post, as this came up in another discussion here - where the poster passed 2 urines and failed a hair test. The poster (a newbie) was terminated, and can't get a hire because of the failed hair test. They claim to have quit using in Sept - but, as experience here has shown, you might need up to 6 months to be clean enough to pass a hair test (especially with today's extra strong weed) - THEY WERE NOT. There is some debate, whether or not a SAP will get them behind the wheel. But as a new entrant/trainee - we all know the likelihood of getting a hire after failing and orientation screen - is NOT GOOD (OK - next to IMPOSSIBLE)

AS OF NOW - URINE TESTING IS THE ONLY DOT APPROVED METHOD OF DRUG SCREENING - and therefore - THE ONLY TEST THAT CAN BE REPORTED TO THE FMCSA CLEARINGHOUSE (the MANDATORY FMCSA DATABASE for drug/alcohol screens).

What's interesting though is that USC 49 31306US Code Title 49 - 31306 b(1)B(ii) says: (ii)to use hair testing as an acceptable alternative to urine testing.

So I may be INCORRECT in my assumption that Hair Testing is NOT a "DOT Acceptable Method" for testing. Even Rickipedia can be wrong once in awhile.

This will be changing soon - and then the answer for the all-too-frequent-question, and the list we (try to) maintain of which companies do hair or urine WILL BE MOOT.

THEY ALL WILL.

And any legalization of weed on a federal level, is NOT GOING TO CHANGE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY - though we are likely to see some lawsuits trying to - IT WILL ALWAYS COME DOWN ON THE ASIDE OF PUBLIC SAFETY - and NO ONE WANTS TO RISK STONED TRUCKERS/PILOTS/TRAIN ENGINEERS.

Rick

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Mikey B.'s Comment
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My only question to the mandatory hair testing is how will they word and what will they do to alleviate the racial disparities of minorities failing more frequently due to the difference in hair texture. I had read previously somewhere (maybe on here) that the tests were racist? toward POC because they have a more coarse hair and tested positive more often than non-POC because drug particles clung to their hair when they were around someone using but not using themselves. In todays society there is no way they will enact an all hair testing system without addressing the racial disparities issue somehow.

Don's Comment
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"the racial disparities of minorities failing more frequently due to the difference in hair texture"

I am so sick and tired of this racial bias bullsh** used to excuse peoples behaviors and actions

WTH does hair texture based on race have to do with anything? Complete garbage. If anyone of any skin color is smoking weed, then they have no business being behind the wheel.

My only question to the mandatory hair testing is how will they word and what will they do to alleviate the racial disparities of minorities failing more frequently due to the difference in hair texture. I had read previously somewhere (maybe on here) that the tests were racist? toward POC because they have a more coarse hair and tested positive more often than non-POC because drug particles clung to their hair when they were around someone using but not using themselves. In todays society there is no way they will enact an all hair testing system without addressing the racial disparities issue somehow.

Rick S.'s Comment
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"the racial disparities of minorities failing more frequently due to the difference in hair texture"

I am so sick and tired of this racial bias bullsh** used to excuse peoples behaviors and actions

WTH does hair texture based on race have to do with anything? Complete garbage. If anyone of any skin color is smoking weed, then they have no business being behind the wheel.

I was taking a timeout before I responded to that one - because my initial response would have been very similar to yours.

It seems that "racial disparity", "institutional racism" - and other "dog whistle trigger words" are thrown around so much - that as soon as we hear one, we just shut down. Which does not (necessarily) make US RACISTS - but the second you disagree with ANY OF THE PREMISES - you are labeled one anyways.

AMEN (NOT Awomen) - which is HEBREW for "SO BE IT". Or the even more insane: "unconscious bias training" - so I don't KNOW CONSCIOUSLY that I am biased - but I need training to remove it?

OK - back on topic here.

There IS SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE that different textures or hair, and darker colors might yield different results in hair screens. This isn't necessarily limited to minorities either. A light skinned caucasian with dark hair, has similar melanin content on their hair, as a dark skinned hispanic does. And my dad had hair just as course and wiry as any black guy out there

Drug particles clinging to minority peoples hair MORE than white peoples is a crock of crap. Especially if you WASH IT ONCE IN AWHILE. As I mentioned in another thread, you'd have to be living in a closet with Bob Marley in order to have your hair absorb enough THC to throw a positive. PLUS - THE TEST IS NOT ONLY FOR THC - IT IS FOR THC METABOLITES (that is - what the BODY EXCRETES after it processes the THC in your bloodstream).

And much has to do with METABOLISM TOO. Hair tests are "supposed to be" the closest 1.5" from the scalp - as the "average person" grows .5" per month and the test is looking for 90 days. Now I get my hair cut once a month - and I'm closer to an inch of growth in that time period.

There was also a study done on URINE TESTING (I posted it here - not going digging for it) - that found (on one hand) that minorities FAILED DRUG SCREENS more often that non-minorities. But on a STATISTICAL LEVEL - the difference WAS NOT ENOUGH TO INDICATE A RACIAL BIAS IN TESTING.

But we're dealing with SCIENCE VERSUS POLITICS - and any time SCIENCE CAN BE SKEWED TO FURTHER A NARRATIVE (and today's happens to be INSTITUTIONAL RACISM - and anything you can attach to it gets you MORE PRESS).

A recent study has show (however) than on a per capita basis - more black americans have a biased against white people - than the other way around.

So on SCIENTIFIC BASIS - if there are biases in testing BASED ON HAIR COLOR/TYPE - than threshold adjustments will be made.

BUT THE FACT REMAINS - IF YOU ARE USING DRUGS AND YOU STAY OFF THEM FOR 6 MONTHS MINIMUM - YOU WILL PASS ANY DRUG SCREEN OUT THERE. IF YOU ARE USING ILLEGAL DRUGS (that is drugs you don't have a scrip and a doctors letter to back it up - or even a scrip for THC based products) YOU ARE GOING TO FAIL A SCREEN AND WILL BE DISQUALIFIED FROM HIRE.

There's NO GREY AREA HERE (or white/black/brown either).

And nor should anyone be cut any slack - because of "perceived bias".

Rick

PackRat's Comment
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It just occurred to me about religious belief problems that could be brought about. The male Sikhism followers do not cut their hair or beards, ever , from what I have read in my studies

Eugene K.'s Comment
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That’s correct Packrat — and there are many Sikhs in trucking. However, I believe alcohol, drugs, and tobacco are prohibited as part of their faith tradition.

Rick S.'s Comment
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It just occurred to me about religious belief problems that could be brought about. The male Sikhism followers do not cut their hair or beards, ever , from what I have read in my studies

Had not even considered “religious accommodations”.

Tell you a little story (because you know how much I love to tell little stories - LOL).

We have a company down here, double eagle distributing, they are the distributors for Anheuser-Busch. They deliver Anheuser-Busch products to retailers. So a Muslim gentleman, applied for a job as a truck driver, apparently had a CDL and experience, and was excepted as an employee.

At which point he told his manager, that he could not drive the truck, because his religion forbade alcohol. He was terminated, because who needs a truck driver/point of delivery driver, who cannot touch your product. Now the guy applied and interviewed, knowing this was an alcohol distributor.

Well, he sued for wrongful termination, on the basis of religious discrimination. And he want a large settlement as a result.

So yes, in today’s litigious society, especially when it comes to race and religion, we are going to see a whole lot more weirdness (and that’s the kindest term I can use without it ending up being all ******), surrounding making hair testing mandatory.

Rick

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
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I think I remember hearing about that case in Florida, Rick. Within the previous five years?

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