Congressmen and Senators pushing for HHS Guidelines and FMCSA to allow pre-employment hair testing for carriers
Written by Lucas Kibby, CleanFleet
The Department of Health and Human (HHS) has been working on hair testing guidelines for nearly two decades but hasn’t finished it yet even though the FAST Act placed a December 4, 2016 deadline.
This is delaying the Department of Transportation (DOT) to move forward with the allowance of hair testing as a federally approved drug testing method.
Now, both U.S. Senators and Congressmen are pushing to speed up the process to allow hair testing in the trucking industry.
Five Senators pushing HHS to release hair testing guidelines
On May 18th, 2017, five Senators sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Thomas Price pushing HHS to release the hair testing guidelines.
These senators “respectfully request that swift action be taken to expeditiously complete required technical guidelines for hair testing standards.”
“Development of these standards will pave the way for more employers to use this testing method and could potentially identify a greater number of safety-sensitive employees who violate federal drug testing regulations.”
Seven Congressmen pushing the FMCSA to allow carriers to use hair testing immediately after HHS Guidelines
For pre-employment, many large carriers use hair and urine testing and are have drivers pass the mandatory urine drug test but failed the hair test. They carriers, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Knight Transportation, Maverick Transportation, and Dupré Logistics, use hair testing because it show a longer history of potential drug use versus urine testing, but the FMCSA only allows urine testing for their mandated regulations.
Instead of waiting for HHS to lead the way in approving hair testing, the Trucking Alliance is using hair testing for new hires under their own company authority. They are asking the FMCSA to allow them to use the hair testing result for the mandated pre-employment test instead of the urine test so they don’t do to two tests.
Now, seven members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter late last month to the FMCSA expressing their support to begin drug testing drivers exclusively with a hair sample for driver pre-employment but only after the HHS guidelines.
These Republican Congressmen said they “support the granting of this petition for exemption as soon as HHS issues its guidelines and before the FMCSA subsequently completes its rulemaking process that will formally adopt HHS guidelines that these petitioners are already meeting.
See how hair testing compares with urine and saliva testing.