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Federal Govt Proposes New Type of Drug Testing for Employees

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The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed changing a workplace drug testing policy to allow federal employers to drug test employees’ hair for illicit drug use.

The proposed new rule seeks to permit federal agencies to test hair samples for pre-employment as well as random drug screenings, NORML reported.

Hair drug testing technology could yield contrasting results based on hair and skin color, and several other variables such as second-hand exposure.

“It is mind-boggling that the federal government is revisiting this half-baked plan now,” said NORML. “Given the heightened awareness surrounding the need for social and racial equity, the idea of proposing a testing procedure that will deny more people of color opportunities than it would others who have engaged in exactly the same behaviors is beyond tone deaf and counterproductive.”

HHS stated that hair follicle drug testing is about eight-times more expensive than urine drug testing.