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Court upholds observation during drug tests

Posted on : 15-05-2009 | By : Truckdriversnews | In : Political News, truck driver Industry


WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a government rule that says transportation workers who have been in drug treatment programs must be watched while providing urine samples to return to jobs with safety risks.

The Transportation Department requires that employees in the aviation, rail, trucking and other transportation industries who fail or refuse to take drug tests must complete a treatment program before returning to safety-sensitive jobs. The employees then must pass repeated drug tests with a same-sex observer watching them give a urine sample.

The department passed the “direct observation rule” last year out of concern over hundreds of products available that help drug users get a clean urine screen, including a prosthetic that included heater packs to keep the fake sample at body temperature and was available in several skin tones.

The rule requires that returning employees remove their clothing in front of the observer to make sure that they aren’t using any device that could deliver synthetic or drug-free urine other than their own.

Previously, employers could use direct observation when collecting samples, but the Transportation Department found the method was rarely used because employers feared it would upset employees and could affect labor agreements. So the rule passed last year required direct observation.

Full AP Story

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