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Drug Testing Procedures and the Department of Transportation

A truck driver was subjected to a random drug test and tested positive for marijuana use. After a confirmatory test verified the initial result, the driver was terminated. He denied having ever used marijuana. The driver passed a hair follicle test performed by an independent laboratory 84 days after the employer's urine test. The hair follicle test is aimed at identifying people who persistently use drugs over time. The driver also pointed to problems with the employer's drug tested procedures. Specifically, the drug test was given by a supervisor despite the availability of nonsupervisory employees, the container had been removed from the sealed kit before the driver arrived to be tested, the driver was not instructed to wash his hands at the proper times, access to the collection site for the specimen was not restricted, and the collection container was not kept in full view of the driver during the time between when the specimen was produced and the container was sealed. Did the employer fail to comply with the drug testing procedures required by the Department of Transportation? If so, was it negligent in how it conducted the drug testing. Why, or why not?

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First of all, the drug test was conducted by the employee's supervisor. The Department of Transportation clearly states that an immediate supervisor of an employee may not "act as the collector [of the sample] when the employee is [being] tested, unless no other collector is available and you [supervisor] are permitted to do so under DOT agency drug and alcohol regulations" (United States Department of Transportation (n.d). It is not stated in the passage weather the supervisor is permitted to collect specimen under DOT agency drug and alcohol regulations. Thus we cannot make a conclusion on the supervisor at this point. However, ...